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USDA Import Alert: Update to Contingency Plan Requirements for Live Animal Transit Shipments

IMPORT ALERT: Update to Contingency Plan Requirements for Live Animal Transit Shipments

Issuance Date: October 22, 2021

Effective Date: Immediately

Veterinary Services (VS) has reduced the current requirements for written contingency plans that are required to be submitted with import permit applications for animal shipments transiting the U.S. In response to stakeholder feedback, VS reviewed existing requirements and decided that only certain information is necessary to ensure transiting animals receive appropriate care. This change will also make the import permit application processes more efficient.

Going forward, all contingency plans submitted to VS must address the following items:

  • Emergency importer/broker/animal transporter contact information for the duration of the transit in the United States, from the port of entry until departure at the port of exit;
  • Contact information for a USDA accredited veterinarian available for emergencies during the entirety of transits by land, and for each permitted port for transits by air; AND
  • The importer’s confirmation of a plan to provide water for the animals during transit stops, should it be needed based on conditions and species.

VS recommends contingency plans also address the following items:

  • Transport conveyances/shipping containers.
  • Loading densities and space requirements.
  • Environmental/weather protections.
  • Ventilation/air supply.
  • Feed supply.
  • Management of animals that are sick, injured, or can’t continue travel.

A contingency plan and all other additional considerations for live animal transits must be finalized before animals are shipped through the United States.

USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Port Offices should be notified for any emergency situations.