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Import Regulations for Horses, A Proposed Rule by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

A Proposed Rule by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on 11/29/2021

AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

We are proposing to amend the regulations for the importation of equines. These changes include increasing the number of days horses exported from regions free from contagious equine metritis (CEM) are allowed to spend in a CEM-affected region and re-enter the United States without testing from 60 days to 90 days; requiring an import permit for horses transiting through CEM-affected regions; adding requirements for health certifications to ensure health certifications properly attest to the health of the imported horse; removing the requirement that horses permanently imported from Canada undergo inspection at the port of entry; requiring that horses transiting Central America or the West Indies comply with the same regulations that apply to horses directly imported from these regions; and adding requirements for shipping containers used in transporting horses. We are also proposing a number of miscellaneous changes to the regulations such as clarifications of existing policy or intent, and corrections of inconsistencies or outdated information. Many of these proposed changes would better align our regulations with international standards and allow us and the equine industry more flexibility. The proposed changes would also add further safeguards that protect against introducing or disseminating pests or diseases of livestock into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before January 28, 2022.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter APHIS-2016-0033 in the Search field. Select the Documents tab, then select the Comment button in the list of documents.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0033, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at www.regulations.gov or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1620 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

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