USDA Relieves Oklahoma Horse Import Restrictions

The USDA has added Oklahoma to the list of states approved to receive certain mares and stallions imported into the United States from regions affected with contagious equine metritis, a serious venereal disease of horses.

"Oklahoma has agreed to comply with our regulations to further ensure the horses' freedom from CEM," said Joan M. Arnoldi, deputy administrator for veterinary services with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area.

APHIS' animal importation regulations require that mares and stallions over two-years-old imported for permanent entry into the United States from regions where CEM exists must be consigned to APHIS-approved states.

Oklahoma will enforce its state laws and regulations to control CEM by requiring inspection, treatment, and testing of horses, in accordance with APHIS regulations.

This direct final rule was published in the Feb. 6 Federal Register. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before March 9, 1998. An original and three copies should be sent to Docket No. 97-104-1, 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 at 202/690-2817 to facilitate entry into the comment reading room.

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