The New List of Precautionary Measures

The United States Department of Agriculture has responded to the foot and mouth disease threat by taking more precautionary measures in the importation of horses from foot and mouth disease-affected countries.

USDA Procedures and Requirements for Handling Horses Imported into the United States from The European Union and Countries Affected with FMD

Addendum to USDA Guide Sheets for Horses from Countries
with African Horse Sickness and Horses Requiring
a 3-Day or 7-Day Quarantine
“These are Minimal Standards”

The following procedures and requirements are effective immediately and apply to horses being imported into the United States from the European Union and countries affected with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). These procedures are in addition to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations; Title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR) and USDA guide sheets such as 1) USDA Guide Sheet for Horses, Which Includes all Equine, from Countries Affected with African Horse Sickness (AHS), 2) USDA Guide Sheet for Horses that Require a 3-Day Quarantine (USDA Guide Sheet for ), and 3) Horses that Require 7-Day Quarantine.

A “Health Certification for Importation of Horses from the European Union and Countries Affected with Foot and Mouth Disease into the United States” must be part of the documentation accompanying the animals. The official health certification must be endorsed by a veterinarian designated by the National Veterinary Services (NVS) of the country of origin. Tack trunks/containers sent independently of the horses must be accompanied by a “Certification for Disinfection of Tack Trunks/Containers”.

  • Within the five (5) days immediately prior to export, the horse(s) has not been on any premises or area quarantined or identified to be infected with FMD, nor has the horse(s) been in contact with animals that have been in a FMD quarantine area or on an FMD affected or quarantined premises.
  • Horses from countries where FMD exists and horses in contact with horses from these countries are required to be groomed to remove dirt and debris, and subsequently wiped, sprayed and/or sponged down with vinegar or a solution of 6.5 ounces of concentrated glacial acetic acid in 1 gallon of water. These procedures are to be performed at the airport in the exporting country prior to departure and will be repeated upon arrival in the United States at one of USDA’s Import Quarantine Facilities.
  • The horses’ hooves are required to be cleaned in a manner that ensures the hooves are free of dirt, manure, and debris and then disinfected with a 4% sodium carbonate solution. This is to be performed at the airport in the exporting country prior to departure and upon arrival in the United States at USDA’s Quarantine Facilities.
  • Prior to loading the horse(s), all crates and transportation vehicles shall be cleaned and disinfected (see attached disinfectant list). This is to be performed in the exporting country and upon arrival in the United States at USDA’s Quarantine Facilities. The carrier, broker, agent, or owner is required to provide for the cleaning and disinfecting of transport vehicles and crates under supervision of VS personnel. The carrier and/or broker also shall make arrangements under the supervision of VS personnel to dispose of excess feed and manure aboard the aircraft and or at the quarantine facility. These materials will be placed in bags for incineration.
  • Before leaving the exporting country, personnel accompanying the horse(s) must launder or dry clean their clothing and outerwear. Footwear must be cleaned of all dirt and debris, and then disinfected. Personnel must provide appropriate protective clothing (disposable or cloth coveralls and rubber boots). Protective clothing will be disinfected or incinerated at the discretion of the USDA official.
  • Footwear of personnel accompanying the horse(s) shall be properly cleaned and disinfected. The method of disinfection is at the discretion of the USDA official.
  • Importers/brokers shall be informed to minimize equipment accompanying the animals. Equipment shall be laundered, and/or cleaned of dirt, manure, debris, and hair prior to packing for shipment to the United States. Tack trunks/containers must be accompanied by a certification of disinfection. All equipment is subject to inspection and/or disinfection.
  • Any equipment (tack, blankets, sheets, leg wraps, etc.,) accompanying the horses shall be inspected and disinfected (see attached disinfectant list) and/or incinerated at the USDA quarantine facility as a precautionary measure against the introduction of FMD. This is at the discretion of the USDA official.


The horse(s) should not have direct or indirect contact with domestic or wild ruminants or swine for a minimum of five days from the day they entered the USDA quarantine facility.

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