EU Places Import Restrictions

The European Commission of the European Union (EU) has notified the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that import restrictions have been placed on horses from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island due to West Nile Virus. Effective Sept. 15, a supplementary certificate (see below) must be added to the animal health certificate for "the temporary admission of registered horses, the re-entry after temporary export of registered horses, and the imports and transit of equidae" coming from the five States named above.

The above does not apply to equidae coming from areas outside the specified States which are "transported on main roads in transit without stopping through the areas specified ... directly to an airport situated within the areas specified ... for subsequent air transport to the Community.  During the transit and transhipment operations suitable measures must be taken to protect the equidae from vector insects."

Although clarifications and reductions in restrictions continue to be sought by APHIS, the supplementary certificate now required for imports of equidae into the EU from any of the five States specified currently reads as follows:

"The equine animal described in the above mentioned animal health certificate complies with one of the following conditions:

(1) Either it comes from a holding situated in the centre of an area of at least 50 km radius around that holding where there was no case of West Nile Fever reported in equidae during the past 15 days, and had no contact during the preceding 15 days with equidae which have been resident on holdings where West Nile Fever was confirmed during the previous 30 days,


(2)  It comes from a holding situated within an area of 50 km radius around a holding on which West Nile Fever was confirmed in equidae during the previous 30 days and has prior to dispatch

      - either undergone pre-movement isolation under vector-protected conditions for a period of at least 21 days and during that period the body temperature taken daily remained within normal physiological range and has been subjected to a IG-M capture ELISA test for the detection of antibodies against West Nile virus with negative result, carried out on a blood sample taken not earlier than 17 days from the date the isolation commenced,


      - been subjected to two capture ELISA tests for the detection of antibodies against West Nile virus, with negative result in the case of IG-M capture ELISA, and with positive result at a serum dilution of 1 in 100 in the case of IG-G capture ELISA, carried out on a blood sample taken within 21 days of dispatch."

Visit for more on the most recent USDA West Nile Surveillance information.

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