USDA Ends Seven-Day Quarantine For Horses From Mexico

The USDA is removing the requirement that horses from Mexico be quarantined for seven days in vector-proof quarantine facilities before being imported into the United States.

Horses imported from Mexico will still need to be quarantined until it can be determined that they are free of exotic pests and diseases. This quarantine period usually lasts three to four days.

"We have determined Mexico to be free of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE). Lifting the seven-day quarantine requirement would not pose a risk of transmitting VEE to horses in the United States," said Joan M. Arnoldi, deputy administrator of veterinary services with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area.

A seven-day quarantine became necessary during the summer of 1996 when the government of Mexico reported that VEE had been detected in horses in that country. The United States is free of VEE, a viral disease that is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and other blood-feeding insects, and results in a high mortality rate in infected animals.

This final rule was scheduled for publication in the Jan. 26, 1998, Federal Register and became effective Feb. 10, 1998. 

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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