USDA Amends Regulations on Horses From Spain

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is amending the requirements for health certificates accompanying imported Spanish pure breed horses from Spain which specify whether or not the horses were raised on breeding premises.

Instead, APHIS will require that the accompanying health certificate

certify the following:

  • Since breeding age, the horses have not been on a farm that is exclusively a breeding premises;
  • Have not been bred;
  • Have not attempted to breed; and
  • Have not been commingled and left unattended with adult horses of the opposite sex.

"We believe that this action will relieve unnecessary restrictions on the importation of Spanish pure breed horses from Spain, while continuing to protect against the introduction and spread of contagious equine metritis into the United States," said Alfonso Torres, deputy administrator for veterinary services with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area.

CEM is a highly contagious disease that can have a devastating effect on equine reproductive efficiency. CEM was eradicated from the United States in 1979, and has not appeared since. Should the disease reappear in the United States, the horse industry would suffer great economic losses.

For more information, contact Karen A. James, assistant director, technical trade services team, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 38, Riverdale, Md. 20737, (301) 734-8172.

Notice of this action is scheduled to appear in the Nov. 16 Federal Register and becomes effective upon publication. APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Jan. 16, 2001. Please send an original and three copies to Docket No. 00-109-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

Comments may be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to review comments are requested to call ahead on 202/690-2817 to facilitate entry into the comment reading room.

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