USDA Closes Animal Import Center

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is closing the Harry S Truman Animal Import Center (HSTAIC) in Key West, Florida, and amending its animal import regulations to remove all provisions related to the facility.

"HSTAIC is chronically under used and has never generated enough demand to be self-supporting," said Craig A. Reed, administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area. "We have to close HSTAIC now to minimize our losses."

Several factors have contributed to the decrease in demand for HSTAIC's services. International trade in live animals for breeding purposes has fallen. In addition, importing germplasm for breeding is less expensive, more reliable, and can be done without using HSTAIC.

Until now, animals from high-risk disease regions could enter the United States only through HSTAIC. Closing the facility means these importations will stop entirely. APHIS is researching other possible means by which these animals can be safely imported into the United States.

This final rule is scheduled for publication in the Nov. 19 Federal Register and will become effective Dec. 21. APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS rules, are available on the Internet at

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