New Jersey Beefs Up Horse Health Regulations Enforcement

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced an initiative to ensure that horse owners and dealers are aware of--and following--the longstanding regulations for bringing horses into the state from another state.

The state will increase the inspections of licensed dealers to make sure that horses brought into the state have a negative Coggins test for equine infectious anemia and a health certificate signed by a veterinarian.

"Inspections will increase as staffing allows and will be based on other investigations and ongoing required field work," said Nancy Halpern, DVM, state veterinarian and director of the division of animal health.

"The department is simply re-emphasizing to horse buyers and potential horse buyers that they need to be aware of the requirements and should be asking sellers to ensure the Coggins test and health certificate have been done," Halpern said.

Horse dealers who fail to comply with these regulations could face revocation of their livestock dealer's license and/or $200 fines for the first offense and $500 for the second and subsequent offenses, according to Halpern.

"Any attempt to circumvent the proper health tests for horse importation puts every equine in our state in jeopardy," said Halpern. "These requirements are not expensive to meet, and we cannot tolerate putting animals at risk just for the sake of marginally increasing the profits of horse dealers."

No particular incident precipitated the compliance push, she said. "The department was made aware of horses entering the state without these health requirements being followed and then being sold to buyers in New Jersey," she said, adding, "this practice must cease."

About the Author

Marie Rosenthal, MS

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