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USDA APHIS Import Alert Import Alert: Additional Restrictions for Equine Commodities Originating from Countries Affected by Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis

Issuance Date: February 23, 2022

Effective Date: Immediately

Effective immediately and until further notice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) is placing additional import restrictions on the importation of equines from Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE)-affected countries.

In addition to the required 7-day federal import quarantine for horses upon arrival, any horse(s) from a VEE-affected country that shows signs of illness, including fever, is required to undergo testing for VEE by the USDA APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) using the IgM capture ELISA test. APHIS will hold the horse and its cohorts until the animals are eligible for release, based on test results.

APHIS defines cohorts as horses originating from the same premises and/or part of the same shipment, or that were directly or indirectly exposed or comingled while in the quarantine facility (unless they were separated by sufficient means of vector-proofing).

If the test result is non-negative (positive or suspect), APHIS will refuse the entire shipment entry into the United States. If the sick horse tests negative for VEE and all other required import tests, the sick horse and its cohorts will be released.

Testing expenses will be paid for by importer/owner of record. NVSL will conduct the testing and add reimbursable overtime charges to importer testing fees, as applicable.

Any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (301) 851-3300, Option 2, or by email at .

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