California Riding Magazine • July, 2013

The Gallop: Whoa There!
New rules in place for transporting
horses into California.

The US Department of Agriculture instituted its Animal Disease Traceability program in January of this year, and border stations are now checking for compliance. Created to improve the federal and state government's ability to track and prevent the spread of diseases in livestock, the regulations replace a previous rule which allowed horses leaving and returning to California within a 14-day period to do so without needing a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and evidence of a negative or Equine Infectious Anemia (aka "Coggins") test.

The federal rule went into effect on March 11, but the California Department of Food and Agriculture is using a six month grace period during which warning letters, not fines for violation, will be issued.

CDFA staff veterinarian Katherine Flynn says the department expects many horse haulers will be taken unaware by the new regulations and the agency is working hard to get the word out. Toward that end, the following Q&A addresses "every situation we could possibly think of," she says.

1. What are the California entry requirements for equine movement into California?
A valid Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) issued within 30 days before movement and evidence of a negative Equine Infectious Anemia test, performed at a USDA-approved laboratory within six (6) months before the date of movement are required for the interstate movement of horses and other equine species into California.

2. Do the entry requirements apply to mules and donkeys?
The equine interstate movement requirements apply to all equids (horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, burros and zebras).

3. When did federal requirements for horse movement change?
The federal Animal Disease Traceability Rule, published in the Code of Federal Regulations on January 9, 2013, became effective on March 11, 2013.

4. Are there any exemptions to the requirement for an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI)?
The federal Animal Disease Traceability Rule exempts the ICVI requirement for the following equine movements:

  • Horses used as a mode of transportation for travel to another location then back to the original location (Example: Horse and buggy and trail rides)
  • Horse movement for veterinary examination or treatment and returned to the same location without change of ownership.
  • Horse movement directly from a location in one state through another state to a second location in the origin state. (Example: Horse originates in California, trailers through Nevada and is offloaded at different destination location in California.
  • Horse movement with a document other than a ICVI, as approved between shipping and receiving state animal health authorities. (Example: Valid equine interstate passport or a California Working Horse Permit. At this time, no other documents are approved for use by animal health authorities in states bordering California.)

5. Does California accept equine passports for entry into California?
California accepts valid approved equine passports issued by an animal health authority.

6. Does California issue equine passports?
At this time, California does not issue equine passports. However, based on industry feedback, California may consider issuing equine passports in the future.

7. What is a California Working Horse Permit?
A California Working Horse Permit is a permit authorizing the movement of working horses across state borders from one business location to another location of the same business for use in the business operation. Horse owners, who operate a business in California and in another state in which horses are used in the operation of the business, are eligible to apply for an annual California Working Horse Permit. Approval and signature of animal health officials in both states is necessary for issue of a California Working Horse Permit.

8. How long is a California Certificate of Veterinary Inspection valid?
California Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) are valid for 30 days from the date of inspection.

9. Several times a month, I travel from California to Oregon with my horses for shows and trail rides. Do I need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for each trip?
No. If all destination locations are in the same state and the movements are to occur within the thirty (30) day timeline of the valid CVI, only one California CVI is necessary provided that a list of each destination location and anticipated travel dates are documented on the CVI at time of issue.

10. Is there still a 14-day exemption for California horses?
No. The federal Animal Disease Traceability Rule does not allow an exemption for California horses returning to California within 14 days of departure. ALL interstate horse movements into California require a valid certificate of veterinary inspection or valid equine passport AND evidence of negative Equine Infectious Anemia test within
6 months of entry.

11. When will enforcement of entry requirements for California horses moved from the state that are returning to California begin?
Enforcement of these entry requirements for California horses that have been moved from the state and are returning to California will begin on January 1, 2014. ALL interstate horse movements into California require a valid certificate of veterinary inspection or valid equine passport AND evidence of negative Equine Infectious Anemia test within 6 months of entry.

12. I travel frequently from California to several western states in a single month, do I need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for each movement destination?
No. If the movements are to occur within the thirty (30) day timeline of the valid CVI, only one California CVI is necessary provided that a list of each destination location in each state and anticipated travel dates are documented on the CVI at time of issue.

13. If I travel to Oregon for a day to train, to trail ride or to show and return to California on the same day, what paperwork do I need to have?
ALL interstate horse movements into California require a valid certificate of veterinary inspection or valid equine passport AND evidence of negative Equine Infectious Anemia test within 6 months
of entry.

14. Who will check my equine movement paperwork?
For California, border station personnel and animal health officials may request interstate movement documentation.

15. What will happen if I don't have a certificate of veterinary inspection for all horses entering California?
Failure to comply with California entry requirements is a violation of both California and Federal laws, which may result in issue of a Notice of Violation and assessment of fines up to $25,000 per violation.

For additional information call: AHB Movement Section 916-900-5052, Animal Health and Food Safety Services Animal Health Branch Headquarters: 916-900-5002, Redding District: 530-225-2140, Modesto District: 209-491-9350, Tulare District: 559-685-3500, Ontario District: 909-947-4462 or visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health.