Mid-Atlantic Animal Import Center Feasibility Study Released

The Maryland Department of Agriculture's Maryland Horse Industry Board today released the Mid-Atlantic Animal Import Center Feasibility Study, which identified the Midfield Cargo Complex of the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport as the best potential site for the Center.
"The time it takes to ship a horse overseas begins from the time that animal leaves the barn to the time it plants its hoof in the soil of its new home. Adding a five to 15 hour van ride on top of the time in flight is not cost effective and causes additional stress on the animals being shipped," said Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson. "A permanent Mid-Atlantic Animal Import and Export Center could reduce the cost of shipment for horse owners and buyers, and reduce the stress on transported horses thereby increasing the overall condition and productivity of animals shipped overseas."

The study also detailed the process of importing and exporting live equine to and from the United States. Currently, only three permanent centers accept horses for importation in the United States.

The center was deemed feasible if coupled with another entity such as a state laboratory or animal health center. Due to the seasonality of the shipment of horses, with the strongest peaks occurring between the months of December and January operating the facility jointly with another entity could better utilize staff, optimize operations, and create new jobs and economic impact for the region.

The study was funded by a combination of public and private, federal, and state entities, including the USDA through the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Maryland Horse Industry Board, the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation, and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The study was conducted by the private firm Owl Creek Consulting of Berlin, Md., in cooperation with the Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University.

For a copy of the study visit www.marylandhorseindustry.org.

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