USDA Extends Some Animal-Origin Health Certificates

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has amended regulations pertaining to animal exports. In a rule that became effective April 1, accredited veterinarians can allow origin health certificates for animals intended for export from the United States to be valid for more than 30 days in some cases, depending on the testing requirements of the country of destination.

This change will align U.S. requirements for export origin health certificates with the testing requirements of importing countries. This action will eliminate the need for exporters to obtain another certificate when animals arrive at the port of embarkation after more than 30 days have elapsed, thereby reducing costs and delays for U.S. livestock exporters who ship animals to certain countries.

According to the USDA, this change will not increase the risk of infected or exposed animals being exported, since all animals are inspected an additional time before leaving the United States.

All animals intended for exportation to a foreign country, except by land to Mexico or Canada must be accompanied from the state of origin by an origin health certificate. This document must certify that the animals were inspected within the 30 days prior to import and must include all test results, certifications, or other statements required by the country of destination. Generally, the animals are inspected and tested on the same day.

Notice of this final rule was published in the March 15 Federal Register.

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