The Federal Government monitors the international movement of horses through the three quarantine facilities located in Miami, New York City and Los Angeles. The incubation period for these horses depends on the sex of the horse as well as the location that it is coming from. Over the past few years there has been a drastic increase in the number of horses being brought into the states for racing, showing, sales and breeding. After the EHV-1 epidemic, the procedures for the facilities are in review in hopes of controlling the problem more efficiently.
However, the three existing quarantine facilities may not meet the demands of the growing market for importing and exporting horses through the United States. Currently, the USDA rules do not allow for permanent, privately owned facilities.The American Horse Council (AHC) has requested that the USDA alter the rules so that permanent, privately owned facilities may be opened to meet the increasing demands of the international horse market.
After the AHC made its proposal, the USDA came back with an updated proposal with specific requirements.The biggest concerns of the AHC are that these private facilities need to have Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel present to ensure the biological security of the facility.The other concern is that the new facilities should not have any affect on the temporary, privately owned quarantine facilities which are an important resource for the horse industry. In addition, the new proposal did not establish specific requirements for the potential locations of these new facilities. The AHC would like to see the USDA make a requirement entailing that these quarantine facilities be located within at least one-half mile from any premises holding livestock.The final desire of the AHC is that the USDA allow vaccinations to be administered during the quarantine period as long as blood work has already been taken for testing. Overall, permanent, privately owned quarantine facilities may be in the near future for the horse industry in the United States with the help of the AHC and the USDA.