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Can You Transport A Horse Without A Coggins | Tips On How To Transport Your Horse And Prevent Shipping Fever 75 Most Correct Answers

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It’s the Coggins test, and horse owners who take their horses to shows, races, or other events where horses congregate should not leave home without one. More specifically, they should not transport their horses without proof of a negative Coggins test.In the United States anytime you cross state lines you are required by law to have a current negative coggins and health certificate on each horse that is traveling with you. This is true whether you are traveling for a horse show, trail ride, or relocation.Results of the Coggins test take approximately 5 business days. You can rush a Coggins test and have results by the next business day but a “rush fee” is added by the laboratory responsible for running the Coggins test. 4. Coggins tests are good for 6 months.

Here are 13 travel tips to get him from point A to point B safely and stress-free.
  1. Make sure your horse is healthy…and carry proof of it. …
  2. Consider a box stall for your horse. …
  3. Avoid dusty bedding. …
  4. Be prepared for an emergency. …
  5. Weigh your horse. …
  6. Plan your route. …
  7. Consider standing wraps. …
  8. Make regular rest stops.
Protecting Against EIA
  1. Continue annual Coggins tests for every horse.
  2. Don’t allow any horse on the property unless you have proof of current negative Coggins.
  3. Use fly repellent and physical barriers such as fly masks to reduce your horse’s exposure to biting flies.

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You and your horse may have to travel, and transportation can have an affect on your horse’s body and performance. Find out how to proactively avoid potential issues following travel such as obstructive colic and shipping fever with 3 simple steps!
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What do I need to travel with my horse?

In the United States anytime you cross state lines you are required by law to have a current negative coggins and health certificate on each horse that is traveling with you. This is true whether you are traveling for a horse show, trail ride, or relocation.

How do you prepare a horse for transport?

Here are 13 travel tips to get him from point A to point B safely and stress-free.
  1. Make sure your horse is healthy…and carry proof of it. …
  2. Consider a box stall for your horse. …
  3. Avoid dusty bedding. …
  4. Be prepared for an emergency. …
  5. Weigh your horse. …
  6. Plan your route. …
  7. Consider standing wraps. …
  8. Make regular rest stops.

How long does it take to get a Coggins?

Results of the Coggins test take approximately 5 business days. You can rush a Coggins test and have results by the next business day but a “rush fee” is added by the laboratory responsible for running the Coggins test. 4. Coggins tests are good for 6 months.

How do you prevent Coggins in horses?

Protecting Against EIA
  1. Continue annual Coggins tests for every horse.
  2. Don’t allow any horse on the property unless you have proof of current negative Coggins.
  3. Use fly repellent and physical barriers such as fly masks to reduce your horse’s exposure to biting flies.

How much does a Coggins test cost?

The cost of a Coggins test of course can vary but we have seen them in the range of $20 on the low side to $100 on the high side depending on how much work the vet has to do, the location of the horse and distance to the lab.

What states require Coggins test?

(This passport should work in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. However, some states may still not recognize this document.)

What vaccines does my horse need to travel?

Two important vaccines are the equine herpesvirus (EHV) and the equine influenza virus (EIV) vaccines, says Dr.

How many hours can a horse travel in a trailer?

Horses are fine for up to 9 hours in a trailer as long as they have food and water, and unloading during the trip just adds to your end time considerably. Rather, get to where you are going and let them –and you- have a long rest.

How long can you haul a horse without stopping?

In general, a horse should not be hauled more than 18 hours without being unloaded and given a extended rest period. When traveling great distances, plan your stops, and make sure the overnight location you choose is safe for unloading and loading.

Can a horse survive Coggins?

Because there is no cure or vaccine for EIA and a small percentage of infected horses can survive and become symptom-free carriers, we use Coggins tests to keep surveillance on the disease and combat its spread.

What are the symptoms of a horse with Coggins?

While some animals can carry the virus without showing symptoms (asymptomatic) other horses suffer from severe symptoms of the disease including irregular heartbeat, weakness, swollen abdomen and/or legs, high fever, anemia, abortion in pregnant mares, or even sudden death.

How common is Coggins?

The good news is that EIA is very rare in the US and new cases have continued to decrease annually, to a current level of approximately 0.02% positive of all horses tested. However, it remains important to continue to monitor for this disease in order to protect our healthy horse population.

Does a horse need a Coggins test?

Coggins Test Requirements

Proof of a negative Coggins test is required for horses traveling interstate and for some intrastate movement. Currently, all states require proof of a negative Coggins test for horses crossing a state line.

Can you get rid of Coggins?

Once an animal is infected with the virus, it is infected for life. Other common names for EIA are swamp fever and Coggins disease. At present, there is no vaccine or cure available. The death rate of infected equidae varies from 30 to 70 percent.

Can you cure Coggins?

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for EIA. Treatment consists of supportive therapy of intravenous fluids and vector control. Infected horses should be promptly isolated. There is no cure for EIA, so prevention is the key to controlling the disease.

Owners Transporting Horses Must Have Coggins Test in Tow

It’s simple, it’s safe and it has proven successful in detecting a highly infectious disease in horses.

It’s the Coggins test, and horse owners who take their horses to shows, races, or other events where horses congregate should not leave home without one.

More specifically, they should not transport their horses without proof of a negative Coggins test. A negative result ensures that a horse does not have equine infectious anemia, a serious, often fatal viral disease for which there is no cure. This blood-borne infection often is called swamp fever and is commonly transmitted by insects such as flies and mosquitoes.

“While the incidence is low in Kentucky, it is important that you have your horses tested and when moving them, for whatever reason, have a copy of the current test results with you,” said Bob Coleman, Extension equine specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

The state veterinarian’s office, a division of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, requires a negative Coggins or similar test for EIA within the previous 12 months when transporting horses to locations where they will be in close proximity to other horses. Horses that are sold or given away also must have a negative test within the previous 12 months. The only exceptions are weaned foals accompanied by their dams.

“There are people who work for the state veterinarian’s office who stop trailers going down the road,” Coleman warned. “They will show up at horse shows and trail rides, whatever the event might be. You may not get checked every time, but they will come and check.”

Although other states may vary slightly in their regulations, Coleman said that most are as vigilant as Kentucky in tracking EIA.

“If you’re going outside the state of Kentucky, find out what the regulations are and make sure you meet them before you leave home,” he said.

Coleman said fear of being caught without proof of a negative Coggins test should not be the motivating factor for testing horses for EIA, however. Instead, preventing the spread of this serious disease should be the top priority of everyone in the horse industry.

EIA can appear as either a fatal acute disease or as a chronic disease. Symptoms include anemia, intermittent fever, depression, hemorrhages, progressive weakness and loss of weight. Horses that have the chronic form of EIA usually have intermittent attacks. Some die during these attacks.

Most horses infected with the EIA virus show no clinical signs. These are the horses considered most dangerous because stable mates, pasture mates, and others kept in close proximity can be unknowingly infected.

The Coggins test, which can be done by a veterinarian, was developed in 1970 and screens blood samples for exposure to the virus that causes EIA. Although there is another test for detecting EIA, called the ELISA (or CELISA), the Coggins test is considered the “gold standard,” Coleman said.

“Before you get busy with all your horse activities this spring, make sure your Coggins test is up to date,” he said.

– 30 –

Writer: Terri McLean 859-257-4736, ext. 276

Source: Bob Coleman 859-257-9451

What Documents Do I Need to Travel With my Horse? — SOUTHERN EQUINE SERVICE

by Rachel Beetz DVM

In the United States anytime you cross state lines you are required by law to have a current negative coggins and health certificate on each horse that is traveling with you. This is true whether you are traveling for a horse show, trail ride, or relocation. Some states, such as Florida, require you to stop at the agriculture inspection station when both entering and exiting the state. Florida is very stringent about horses importing and exporting and will check your paperwork closely. Other states do not have actual stations to stop at, but you may be pulled over at any time and asked to present the health documents.

13 Tips to Prepare Your Horse for Long Distance Travel

Planning a road trip for your favorite 1,200-pound passenger? Here are 13 travel tips to get him from point A to point B safely and stress-free.

1. Make sure your horse is healthy…and carry proof of it

Before a long trip have a veterinarian assess your horse’s health to ensure he is up to the journey and to provide all the paperwork required to travel across state lines. According to the Kentucky Horse Council, you will need proof that your horse has had the proper testing and vaccinations and meets the health requirements for the state into which you are traveling. At the minimum, all states require a current negative Coggins test and certificate of veterinary inspection or health certificate within 30 days of the date of travel.

2. Consider a box stall for your horse

While horses can be shipped safely in either a standing stall or box stall, box stalls are typically the better option. A UC Davis study of horses transported 24 hours by road in a commercial van found that it takes one day (24 hours) for white blood cells to return to their normal levels for horses transported in box stalls. It takes even longer (an additional day) for horses that have been cross-tied in standing stalls during the trip.

3. Avoid dusty bedding

No matter how skilled the driver, balancing on a moving trailer for hours isn’t easy on a horse. Bedding the trailer can help reduce leg stress, finds Dr. Hannah Mueller of Cedarbrook Veterinary Care in Snohomish, Washington. Dusty bedding, however, should be avoided as it can cause respiratory problems and/or irritate your horse’s eyes, especially when used in an open stock trailer. Consider the use of a fly mask if dust might be a problem.

4. Be prepared for an emergency

No matter how well you prepare, you can never foresee all situations. It’s always a good idea to carry an equine first aid kit in case of an emergency. Be sure to store it in an easily accessible spot and to alert the driver to its location.

5. Weigh your horse

It’s normal for horses to experience some weight loss during travel, particularly over long distances. Research has shown that horses can lose up to 5% of their body weight when traveling more than 12 hours, even under cool conditions. Most healthy horses will regain that weight within three to seven days of shipping. Weighing your horse prior to travel and upon arrival can help you determine how many days he may need to recover after a long haul.

6. Plan your route

Consider both the route and time of day for travel prior to your trip. A trailer in the sun can be 20 degrees or more warmer inside than outside, which could make long waits in traffic uncomfortable for the horse. When the weather is very hot, night travel may be advantageous, as the temperature will be cooler and traffic is likely to be lighter.

7. Consider standing wraps

Standing wraps and bell boots can help protect your horse’s legs and coronary band during shipping. But, cautions UC Davis’s CEH Horse Report, they can become “a liability instead of an asset” with horses that are not already accustomed to wearing them. If you do wrap, acclimatize the horse to the bandages prior to shipping and watch for irritation and/or rubs during transit. Bandages should be changed daily.

8. Make regular rest stops

Rest stops are an important part of any road trip. The Kentucky Horse Council recommends that parking breaks take place every four hours, and last for at least 20 minutes—preferably in a shaded spot with open windows to increase airflow in the trailer. It is not recommended that horses be unloaded from the trailer, as many will be skittish with road noises in an unfamiliar setting.

For long journeys, horses should be unloaded after 12 hours of transport and stabled for at least eight hours to rehydrate and clear the respiratory tract.

9. Allow free access to hay

While you should limit or eliminate grain from your horse’s diet while traveling, free access to a horse’s regular hay is advised during transport. Pack enough hay to last the entire trip, as well as a few days in the new location. If you hang a hay net, hay bag or feeder, it should be at chest height or higher and out of hoof’s reach.

10. Keep your horse hydrated

To stay hydrated during his trip, horses should be offered water every three to six hours. The Kentucky Horse Council suggests sending a supply of your own water with your horse, as some will not drink water that tastes or smells unfamiliar. If you can’t bring enough of your own water to last the whole trip, consider acclimating your horse to flavored water in advance. Adding Kool Aid or Gatorade to your horse’s water can mask changes in water and help keep him drinking.

11. Avoid electrolytes unless necessary

UC Davis’s CEH Horse Report notes that “excessive or uncontrolled administration of electrolytes may actually have adverse effects on water and electrolyte balance in the horse.” Unless a horse has a history of dehydration or has not been drinking normally in the days leading up to and immediately before transit, administering electrolytes is not recommended prior to long journeys.

12. Prevent shipping fever

Shipping fever is a catch-all term for any viral or bacterial respiratory infection a horse may catch while traveling. Characterized by a strong cough, it can sometimes last for weeks after travel. One of the best ways to avoid shipping fever, finds Dr. Mueller, is to make sure your horse can drop his head while traveling and clear particulate matter from his respiratory tract. Since shipping fever is often triggered by stress, shipping with a second horse is advisable.

13. Give your horse time to recover

No matter how well your horse has traveled, he will need time to recouperate after a long trip before being put back to work. UC Davis’s CEH Horse Report states that a full day of rest is usually sufficient for a horse that has journeyed six to 12 hours. For longer distances (or trips by plane), the recovery period can last two to three days. Contact a veterinarian if the horse refuses feed, exhibits nasal discharge or has an elevated rectal temperature upon arrival at his destination.

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Inland Equine Veterinary Service

What You NEED to Know about Coggins: 1. A Coggins Test diagnoses Equine Infectious Anemia

2. If you are traveling outside the state of Washington you need to have a Coggins test run on your horse

3. Results of the Coggins test take approximately 5 business days. You can rush a Coggins test and have results by the next business day but a “rush fee” is added by the laboratory responsible for running the Coggins test.

4. Coggins tests are good for 6 months.

5. In order to travel from state to state you must have in addition to the Coggins test a health certificate or horse passport (the type of document depends on where you will be traveling to). These documents are good for 30 days and 6 months respectively. The Low Down on Coggins Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral infection that manifests itself in one of three clinical syndromes: acute infection, chronic infection, or inapparent carrier. Acutely infected horses show fever, lethargy, and anorexia as well as the hematologic abnormalities of thrombocytopenia and potentially anemia within 30 days of exposure. Horses that are chronically infected have the classic signs of recurrent fever, weight loss, ventral edema, and anemia. Diagnosis of EIA is either by the more popular Coggins Test or by the C-ELISA test. During the acute phase diagnosis is difficult as most horses due not seroconvert until 40 days after infection. Most EIA seropositive horses are clinically normal and never show any recognizable clinical signs. While these horses are inapparent carriers of the virus they remain infected for life with circulating infectious virus in their blood and remain a threat to other horses for the rest of their lives. The above reasons are why testing is so important. Horses testing positive for EIA must be quarantined, euthanized, or transported to a recognized research laboratory. Transmission of EIA occurs primarily by transmission from feeding insects such as horseflies and deerflies. However EIA can also be transmitted with blood product transfusion and previously used or improperly sterilized needles, surgical instruments, dental equipment, or any other blood contaminated materials. The virus is and can be transmitted across the placenta to infect foals. No specific antiviral therapy for EIA is available at this time. Horses that are infected are prohibited from interstate travel unless going back to the farm of origin (these horses must be under strict quarantine), going to slaughter, or to a diagnostic laboratory or approved research facility. Prevention

1. Require a negative EIA test as part of every prepurchase examination.

2. Require all new arrivals on a farm to have documentation of a recent negative EIA test, and test all horses on the farm yearly.

3. Practice excellent fly control

4. Encourage all events involving the congregation of horses to require documentation of a recent negative EIA test. Testing

· For interstate transit a Coggins test must be performed within the last 6 months and be negative. Coggins testing is recommended especially if you are in a boarding facility or frequent different shows around the state and country.

· Health Certificate: In order to obtain a health certificate you must have a negative Coggins test within the last 6 months and veterinary check of health. Certificate good for 30 days after examination. After that 30 day period a new health certificate must be administered by a veterinarian for further state to state travel. (Note: Not all states are the same. Some states require health certificates for within state travel as well as out of state travel so be sure to check with authorities in any state you are traveling in).

· Horse Passport: The Washington Horse Passport is good for travel within California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Individual trips cannot exceed 90 days. Horse Passports are valid for a six month period from the date the blood was drawn for the EIA test. Don’t Wait In order to run a Coggins test on your horse you need to allocate at least 5 business days in advance.

Protecting Horses Against Equine Infectious Anemia

Although EIA remains a threat, thanks to widespread testing and surveillance, the number of positive horses in the U.S. today is minimal. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency responsible for keeping track of EIA cases in the U.S., reports that out of 1,187,536 EIA tests conducted in 2018, only 51 horses tested positive.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), also referred to as “swamp fever,” is a blood-borne infectious viral disease that affects equids around the world. First tentatively diagnosed in the United States in 1888, EIA surged during the 1960s and 1970s, infecting thousands of horses. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP),10,371 cases were identified in U.S. horses in 1975.

That annual Coggins test has been part of your routine as a horse owner for so long, you may not realize why it’s important.

“The reason horseflies are so effective as vector insects is that they can carry large amounts of blood on their mouthparts compared to other biting flies,” says Todd C. Holbrook DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, ACVSMR. A board certified specialist in equine internal medicine, sports medicine and rehabilitation at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he holds the June Jacobs’ endowed chair and is a professor of equine medicine at OSU. Holbrook has served as an international team veterinary consultant with the U.S. Endurance team for the last two decades.

EIA is most commonly spread by biting flies, such as horseflies and deer flies.

In some equine viral diseases, the disease actually replicates in the insects that transmit it. A good example of this is West Nile Virus , which is transmitted to horses by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. EIA is different in that the biting flies that typically spread it don’t circulate the virus in their own bodies, but simply serve to “transport” infected blood from a horse that has EIA to a “clean” horse when feeding between nearby horses.

If the horse fly’s feeding pattern is interrupted, say, by the horse switching its tail, then the fly will immediately try to land on another horse close by to continue feeding. If the first horse is infected with EIA, the fly can transfer contaminated blood when it feeds on the next horse.

“It used to be that we knew where pockets of positive horses were based on untested herds and tracing back pockets of positive tests, but we don’t now. The Gulf Coast states have always been EIA ‘hotbeds’ because of the insects, but positive cases have popped up in states that have traditionally been negative,” notes Holbrook. “Nowadays the evidence is mounting that it’s less connected with fly transmission than with iatrogenic (caused by humans) transmission.”

Iatrogenic infection occurs when contaminated blood from an infected horse is introduced to a “clean” horse, by such inappropriate actions as sharing needles/syringes, re-using intravenous tubing, or other equipment, and incorrect handling of multi-dose drug vials, including inserting a used needle into the vial.

Because iatrogenic infection is completely avoidable by following standard precautions, it’s all the more tragic when a horse is infected through human carelessness.

Testing for EIA

Until the Coggins test was developed to confirm the presence of EIA, a horse owner was only aware of the disease if their horse died, or showed clinical signs–something not all horses do.

Today, the Coggins test, also known as Agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID), remains the most widely accepted procedure for diagnosing EIA. Blood samples are submitted by an accredited veterinarian, state or Federal animal health official, and EIA tests are conducted in USDA-approved laboratories.

Since there’s no such thing as “Coggins disease” (although some people have mistakenly referred to EIA this way), you may have wondered why this routine blood test is known as a “Coggins” test. For that, we can thank the late Leroy Coggins, DVM, a 1957 Oklahoma State University graduate, who developed a test for antibodies specific to EIA. Testing was initiated in 1972 and was quickly adopted by animal health authorities around the world.

Each state has its own regulations regarding the movement of horses, whether within the state or across state lines, including to events, sales, etc. Most states require EIA testing every 12 months, although some require it every six months. Your vet can tell you what is required in your state.

While many horse owners comply with state regulations and routinely test their horses, not all horse populations are tested regularly. Today, positive EIA tests in North America tend to occur in groups of horses that were previously untested. For example, a horse/pony/mule/donkey that has lived its entire life at the same farm is offered for sale and thus tested, or a group of wild horses is rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and tested before being put up for adoption, according to standard protocol.

The latter actually happened in 1998 when a group of wild horses in Utah was rounded up by the BLM. In this particular case, 10% of the horses rounded up tested positive for EIA, indicating the virus had likely been circulating in that population for many years.

Clinical Signs of EIA

Classified as a retrovirus, EIA is closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and like HIV, it attacks the immune system. Clinical signs of EIA include:

Fever

Going off feed

Lethargy

Pale mucous membranes

Laboratory findings of anemia and/or low platelet count

Weight loss/loss of condition

EIA is a somewhat sneaky disease as it has three phases of infection:

Acute

Chronic

Subclinical carrier

Survivors of the acute phase can become chronic with off-and-on signs, and remain carriers of the disease. Some horses aren’t observed as ill during the acute and chronic phases, but because the virus remains in their blood, these horses are considered subclinical carriers.

Holbrook explains that when a horse is initially infected with EIA, high fever and other signs of severe illness are common. Weight loss and anemia also develop if the horse lives. Often the horse doesn’t die, but after this acute phase, it may become chronic and experience cyclical bouts of fever and anemia, yet appear normal much of the time. This horse is described as a subclinical carrier, meaning he is infected with EIA, but doesn’t show clinical signs.

“The subclinical carrier is the most common scenario, which is why an owner can’t expect to notice clinical signs,” says Holbrook. “The most important thing horse owners need to know is that you won’t recognize EIA. Horses that have it will usually look normal but can be subclinical carriers and potentially put other horses at risk.”

Positive Tests

So, what happens in those rare situations when a horse tests positive for EIA?

The final answer depends on your state. Most states follow USDA guidelines, which specify that a positive horse is either euthanized or remains in life-long quarantine no less than 200 yards from any other equids. Some states have stricter protocol and require euthanasia for any equid that tests positive for EIA.

“Once a horse has it, he has it. There is no cure and no vaccine,” cautions Holbrook. “EIA is a lifelong infection and euthanasia is the most appropriate management decision.”

Negative Coggins

You already know that you need negative Coggins paperwork to travel with your horse, and enter any show, competition or event. But you may not be thinking about a Coggins test when caught up in the excitement of shopping for a new horse.

“As veterinarians, we recommend a prepurchase exam, but if that’s not something you want to have performed, at least have a Coggins test done,” Holbrook urges.

“If not, you could purchase a horse that looks totally normal, and could have a disease that requires you put him down,” notes Holbrook. “It’s a very cheap test given the consequences of a positive test, which could mean losing your horse and possibly exposing horses who belong to others.”

Here’s a quick lesson on why continued annual testing is important for all horse owners. Let’s say you’re an avid trail rider who routinely haul your horse to ride the public trails in your state. This past weekend, after enjoying a great ride, you tie your horse to the trailer in the parking area at the trail head and join your friends for a picnic lunch there before heading home. Your trailer is parked near other trailers, where multiple horses are also tied.

What you don’t know is that the horse tied to the trailer next to yours was recently purchased, but the new owner neglected to ensure the horse had a negative Coggins, since he looked healthy. The majority of subclinical carriers of EIA look totally normal, but unfortunately, if a horsefly bites that horse and then bites yours, your horse could be infected with the virus.

Protecting Against EIA

Even if you never plan to show or haul your horse anywhere, that annual Coggins test is still necessary. Every horse on the property should be tested every year, including, the pony or donkey you got as a pasture companion, and even the old retiree who isn’t going anywhere.

Wide-spread testing and universal regulation have greatly reduced the spread of EIA and losses from the disease are negligible today. Although numbers have dropped significantly, even one owner being forced to euthanize their beloved partner because of a positive test is one case too many.

Do your part to minimize the risk of EIA:

Continue annual Coggins tests for every horse

Don’t allow any horse on the property unless you have proof of current negative Coggins

Use fly repellent and physical barriers such as fly masks to reduce your horse’s exposure to biting flies

Never share needles, syringes, IV sets, multi-dose vials of medication between horses

Make sure dental/surgical equipment is thoroughly sterilized between each use

EIA Tip:

Protecting your horse against Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) includes keeping up with the annual Coggins test and using diligent fly control to protect against biting flies that can transmit the disease. Build an effective No Fly Zone that includes the physical barrier of a fly mask, on-horse repellent products, and feed-through fly control.

Did you Know?

EIA is a “reportable” disease in the United States, meaning that any horse, pony, donkey, mule, (or zebra!) that tests positive must be reported to the USDA. Depending on the state, a positive equine must either be euthanized or kept permanently isolated in strict life-long quarantine away from other horses.

Rules of the Road: Equine Law & Hauling

Rules of the Road: Equine Law & Hauling

Know before you go! Kjirsten Lee, J.D. shares advice on paperwork and more.

I recently had Gobain, aka “Superhorse,” shipped to me across a few state lines. Along with the worry of “oh my gosh my horse is traveling without me, is he going to be OK,” I reminded myself to check with my new state to see what I needed to do, legally speaking, to “import” my horse. I know, “importing” makes it sound like I brought a super fancy horse over from Europe but the reality is that even moving a horse from state to state can be more complicated than a lot of people think. So, here are some questions to ask yourself!

Why am I moving my horse?

Sometimes the paperwork you need depends on where you are going and why. If you are traveling to a competition, make sure you read the show bill to know what the facility and show management require. Usually, that will be a negative Coggins test and a current health certificate, issued by your veterinarian within 30 days.

What does my new state require?

Now that you know where you are going and why, you need to check with your specific state. Each state has its own regulations for importing animals, and you can find your state here. If you have questions, you should contact the State Veterinarian for the state to which you are shipping.

Coggins test

Every horse owner is familiar with the Coggins test – it is required by almost every horse barn and every show, regardless of the discipline. If you are traveling with your horse, you should have a negative Coggins test in your vehicle. Commercial shippers also require a negative Coggins test before they will load your horse on the trailer.

Health certificate

If you have never taken your horse out of state before, you might not be familiar with this document. A health certificate is essentially a document stating that the horse being transported does not show any signs of illness and that the Coggins test was negative. Talk to your vet about how to get a health certificate.

Who enforces these requirements?

Sometimes people take a chance on paperwork, thinking they won’t get caught. This can be dangerous – law enforcement has the authority to ask for and examine horses’ travel documents, and individual states impose their own penalties if the driver fails to produce the required documents. For those who enjoy camping with their horses, camping permits might not be issued without evidence of proper equine paperwork.

What if something goes wrong on the road?

This is a horse owner’s nightmare: while traveling, something goes wrong and the horse is injured. In some cases, owners of horses injured in an accident may have a legal claim against the shipper, who will be defended by their insurance company.

But if you are hauling your own horse, your insurance will determine what happens. Like most legal questions, the insurance requirements depend on the state, so check yours to be sure. If you think you might have a legal claim resulting from an accident on the road, consult with an attorney.

This is only a brief look at what you need to know about traveling with your horse. If you aren’t sure what paperwork you need, check with your state department of agriculture. As always, if you think you might have a legal claim of any sort, consult with an attorney.

Kjirsten Lee, J.D., is an attorney in Memphis, TN. She has written on topics such as the Horse Protection Act and use of drugs in racehorses. Kjirsten and her OTTB, Gobain, compete in dressage and eventing.

What Documents Do I Need to Travel With my Horse? — SOUTHERN EQUINE SERVICE

by Rachel Beetz DVM

In the United States anytime you cross state lines you are required by law to have a current negative coggins and health certificate on each horse that is traveling with you. This is true whether you are traveling for a horse show, trail ride, or relocation. Some states, such as Florida, require you to stop at the agriculture inspection station when both entering and exiting the state. Florida is very stringent about horses importing and exporting and will check your paperwork closely. Other states do not have actual stations to stop at, but you may be pulled over at any time and asked to present the health documents.

The Chronicle of the Horse

Sometimes loading up the trailer becomes so routine that horsemen may forget about some of the regulations surrounding horse transport.

Do you look good in stripes? Is an orange jumpsuit your idea of a personal fashion statement? Ignore state equine import regulations, and a fashion change may be in your future.

Recent plans to participate in an endurance ride in Wisconsin took a dramatic turn for me. Instead of traveling from northern Indiana four hours north, we traveled six hours south, just to use an available free weekend for an event in my home state.

This last-minute change occurred because of my cavalier attitude about interstate horse transportation—an attitude that you may share as well. My bad attitude developed over the past 30 years, hauling horses to compete in American Endurance Ride Conference-sanctioned events. My wife and I have hauled horses into or through 15 western and midwestern states without problems.

I thought I had a valid equine infectious anemia test result form. It was valid for entry into Ohio, not Wisconsin. Ride manager Dawn Haas was very sorry. “But,” she said, “if you show up without a test form dated in the current year of travel, you are in violation of Wisconsin state law and could jeopardize the future of our event.”

I started to research different state laws for equine importation or transportation and found a surprising number of differences. You may call it hauling, but most states call it importing. Each time you make plans to leave your home state with your equine companion you are not only becoming a livestock transporter, you are becoming a livestock importer as soon as you cross the state line.

Regulations unique to each state apply to you. Timothy Cordes, senior staff veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health

Inspection Service, said that animal health regulations are controlled by states due to unique livestock industries that “fall under the sovereignty of each state.”

All states require a certificate of health from a licensed veterinarian. All states require proof of negative Coggins test for EIA. That’s where the uniformity ends. Some states say the valid Coggins form must be issued 12 months prior to arrival. Some use a 13-month cycle. For some states, the time period starts Jan. 1 of the current year. Others specify 13 months beginning Dec. 1 of the previous year. California requires “proof of negative EIA test within six months of entry.” New Jersey entry is permitted with a 24-month Coggins test. Some states require horse haulers to get entry permits. Some states require brand inspection papers. Oregon requires an “Exit Permit.”

While import regulations may vary, penalties for non-compliance are similar. The one that got my attention read, “Domestic-animals entering the State of Tennessee without proper health certificates or otherwise entering the state in violation of these rules shall be held in quarantine at owner’s risk and expense until released or disposed of as determined by the state veterinarian.”

According to Cordes, this situation happens “regularly” across the country with only three results if the animal tests positive for EIA. If a retest shows positive for this devastating disease, the horse must either be destroyed, donated for disease research or quarantined for life on the premises of origin.

Advanced planning and specific action is required to prepare for any trip outside your home state. You need your horse and premises inspected by a qualified veterinarian before you leave, and if you haven’t had a recent EIA test—in some cases within six months, you will need to make plans to do this as well. These tests need to be done by certified labs that may be at the other end of the state from your farm. It may take days or even weeks to complete and return the test results. Some states do not allow “pending” tests of any kind. So, you have to plan ahead.

The Health Certificate

Often called a “Health Certificate,” most states refer to this document as a Certified Veterinarian Inspection form. Variations occur with “Official Certified Veterinarian Inspection form” (OCVI), “Equine Veterinarian Inspection form,” or “Certificate.” The price of getting an official certified veterinarian inspection also varies from state to state and from veterinarian to veterinarian but seems to be between $5 and $15 per horse per inspection.

The general rule of thumb is that every state requires a complete equine health exam current within 30 days of your entry into a state other than your home state. But there are exceptions. “Special Statements” may need to be added to your official certificate of veterinary inspection. If you are traveling from a state with a documented case of vesicular stomatitis or other contagious disease, you may need specific language on your health certificate. The inspection date for these special situations may change from 30 days to as little as five days before entry if you are entering Oklahoma.

Outbreaks of various diseases increase the likelihood that you will be stopped. There are regional as well as state differences in legal requirements for the additional information on your official certified veterinarian inspection form. Horses traveling from states with reported disease outbreaks often must enter with special permits in addition to the official certified veterinarian inspection form.

Most states have requirements similar to Oklahoma’s when vesicular stomatitis outbreaks occur in your home state. Their rules say, “Any livestock (including equine) entering or reentering Oklahoma from a state where vesicular stomatitis has been diagnosed in the last 30 days shall be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection dated within five days of entry containing the following statement: ‘All animals listed in this health certificate have been examined and found to be free from signs of vesicular stomatitis and have not originated from a premise(s) which is under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis.””

Georgia and many southern states are concerned about equine piroplasmosis. Georgia’s rules require a statement on your official certified veterinarian Inspection form that your horse has tested, “negative to a test for equine piroplasmosis if they originate in an area where the disease is known to exist, or where the tropical horse tick (Dermacentor nitens) is known to winter over.”

The Reasons Why

The simplest thing to do is to talk to your local veterinarian at least a month before you plan to leave your state. Unless they do a lot of these, they will probably need some time to research the requirements for your planned travel states. Technically, each state requires the equine inspection certificate to clearly show your travel destination with a name and complete address. “Mile High Stables” for example is not considered a proper address. You should have a complete street address with address number, city, state and zip code.

You should also have a very complete and accurate description of your horse included on the official certified veterinarian inspection form. Official certified veterinarian inspection forms have little horse pictures to let you and your veterinarian draw in markings, old wounds and other identifying marks unique to your horse. At a minimum you should consult your registration papers to pick up those details, but don’t stop there. Your horse may have changed color, or had injuries that change the details of its appearance. When in doubt, draw it in. If a law enforcement official can’t be sure the horse you are importing matches the papers you are carrying, you may be in for a difficult time.

Failure to follow the special requirements for each state can result in your horse being impounded or quarantined, with additional tests and inspections required at your expense, and that is before we start talking about jail time and fines for conviction.

Is all of this regulation necessary? Cordes said positive results have been shown. He explained that in 1972, the year that Coggins tests began to be required for EIA, positive test results occurred in 3.8 percent of the 100,000 equines tested. Last year only 0.02 percent of the two million equines tested had positive results. Cordes called this a “logarithmic reduction” for this disease.

In addition to your local veterinarian, animal import regulations by state and territory can be found on the USDA website.

The Global VETLink website is designed for member veterinarians but anyone can access their summary state admission requirement.

Traveling with your equine companion is always an adventure, even when you are well prepared. Be safe by getting your paper work done well in advance of your trip.

Brand inspector Harry Miller used to love to tell detailed stories of previously law abiding citizens spending an uncomfortable and humiliating night in the “poky” because they didn’t have the right documentation and certification with them when they crossed the state line. With advanced preparation and the tips offered here, you will avoid becoming a good story for your local brand inspector. Your horse will be more comfortable, too.

Traveling with Your Horse? Reduce the Red Tape

By Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA, Medical Director/Staff Veterinarian, SmartPak

Whether it’s a short distance or a long trip, you’ve got a lot to think about any time you haul your horse. Getting all the right tests done and paperwork filled out may seem like a lot of extra time and money. However, there are some very good reasons why these examinations and documents are required. In this article, you’ll find out what you need to travel and why.

What You Need

There are three broad categories of travel: intrastate, interstate and international (the last is beyond the scope of this article). Depending on your reason for travel and your final destination, you may need the same kind of documentation for intrastate travel (travel within the state of origin) that is required for interstate travel (travel outside the state of origin). It is important to remember it is the state of destination which sets the health requirements for horses entering their state.

For example, if you are trailering your horse to a show, more than likely the show officials will ask to see a copy of your horse’s negative Coggins test, the most commonly used means of finding antibody to the equine infectious anemia (EIA) virus.

For horse shows under United States Equestrian Federation rules, expect show management to also ask for proof of compliance with the USEF Equine Vaccination Rule GR845 which states at Federation licensed competitions horses, more than 7 months of age, entering the grounds must be accompanied by documentation of Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables.

If you are transporting a horse to an auction, the facility may require that each horse be accompanied by a health certificate, also known as a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). These certificates, which attest that the horse exhibits no obvious signs of disease on the day of inspection and are signed by your veterinarian, are generally good for 30 days, although some are limited to just 72 hours. The time frame a certificate of veterinary inspection may be valid is influenced by the current disease situation in the area or in the United States

What changes when you want to travel with your horse outside your own state? Not only is a negative EIA test required for entry into all 50 states, it must be performed at an approved laboratory (your veterinarian will know which laboratories are EIA-approved). Your veterinarian must also be accredited with the United States Department of Agriculture to complete the EIA Test Chart (also known as a Coggins form). As states can vary in their requirements, your veterinarian will also be able to tell you if your destination state requires this test be performed within 12 months of entry, within 6 months (or less), or within the calendar year.

Also, with some exceptions that will be pointed out later, all states require that a health certificate accompany horses entering their borders. Some require that the horse’s body temperature the day of examination be recorded on the health certificate, others require specific statements about the current status of a specific disease, and a few even require proof of specific vaccinations or additional testing. Your veterinarian is obligated to submit the health certificate to the state veterinarian’s office in the state of origin and the state of destination.

In addition to the health certificate, some states require an entry or import permit. This is a free document or import number that is obtained from the state of your final destination by phone and sometimes online.

Horse owners in certain states have an alternative method of complying with interstate health requirements through the use of an Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (eeCVI) which is valid for 6 months The eeCVI requires the veterinarian to conduct the initial examination of the animal and verification of current negative EIA Test. Then prior to each movement the owner is responsible for entering the information online to obtain the eeCVI movement document. For more information or to see which states are currently accepting the eeCVI for equine movement visit: https://www.globalvetlink.com/eecvi/

Finally, even if your horse does not have a brand, he may still need to undergo a brand inspection to establish proof of ownership. Contact a state brand inspector through your state department of agriculture or state police if you live in a western state. Frequent travelers in these brand states should inquire about a Lifetime Brand Inspection Certificate, available in some states.

Why You Need It

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) accredits veterinarians to carry out these and other services. Local veterinarians work with their state veterinarian and the Area Veterinarian-in-Charge (AVIC) to protect the health and wellbeing of both you and your horse by preventing, controlling, and eradicating animal disease. In recent years, state and federal animal regulations have protected the United States equine industry from vesicular stomatitis, screwworm, piroplasmosis, West Nile Encephalitis, and other equine diseases of concern.

Just because you do not travel internationally or even interstate with your horse does not mean you are safe from the effects of foreign (or not-so-foreign) animal diseases. Even if your horse does not come into direct contact with a sick horse that has traveled extensively, once any horse shows signs of a reportable disease for that state, equine transportation from that location may be shut down.

On the Equine Disease Communication Center website https://equinediseasecc.org/, owners can sign up for alerts about outbreaks of diseases such as EHV-1 or Equine Herpes Virus – 1 and learn where quarantines are in place. Complying with our country’s disease prevention requirements helps keep our national equine industry healthy and active.

Finally, complying with animal transport requirements not only serves to protect your horse and the horses he or she comes into contact with, it also lays an excellent paper trail should there be any question of your horse’s disease status. Veterinary examinations, negative EIA test results, body temperature and vaccination records are all in one place for easy retrieval.

Reviewed and updated by Drs. Katie Flynn and Angela Pelzel-McCluskey in 2020.

Northwest Equine Veterinary Associates

There are a few requirements that must be met in order to transport your horse(s) across state and county borders. These include Coggins testing, obtaining a Health Certificate, and Brand inspection/Livestock identification.

These are mandatory requirements and if you are stopped by the authorities without these documents large fines and interruption of your trip could result. Scheduling for the performance of these exams and tests and retuning of results from the laboratory for a few of these can take a few days so please plan accordingly and allow a couple of weeks prior to your estimated travel time for their performance.

Traveling with your Horse – 2017

Travelling With Your Horse to Another State?

In the last year the requirements to travel with your horses around the Northwest have changed. Previously an agreement existed between Washington, Oregon, and Idaho that exempted horses from needing a Coggins test to travel between the states. After several horses were found to be positive for Equine Infectious Anemia, the disease Coggins tests for, the states collectively revoked this exemption. Now in order to travel with your horses there’s a few things you need to have on hand.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA)

EIA is a viral disease that affects any equine species (horses, donkeys, mules, and zebras). EIA is naturally transmitted from the blood of an infected horse to another horse by large biting flies. One-fifth of a teaspoon of blood from one horse infected with the virus is enough to infect at least 10,000 more horses. After infection some horses may have very mild signs that go unnoticed while other horses can have a severe or even fatal disease. In the initial stages of the disease the only signs may be a fever. If a horse survives the initial stages they may develop a chronic form. Signs can include a sudden high fever (often 104֯ F or above), depression, poor appetite, edema or swelling under the chest and lower legs, and anemia. The majority of horses infected with EIA will never show any of these signs but will become carriers of the disease and are able to transmit it to other horses, making recognition and control of the disease difficult. Once a horse is infected with EIA it is assumed to be infected for life and there is no effective treatment.

Coggins

Diagnosis of EIA was not possible until the Coggins test was developed in 1970. The Coggins test uses blood to test for antibodies to EIA. If antibodies are detected the horse is considered infected with EIA and has a positive Coggins. If an animal comes up positive for EIA they are often humanely euthanized or may be quarantined from any other equids for life depending on state guidelines. Although EIA is considered a rare disease, at least 15 cases were reported in 2015-2016 in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This resurgence in cases caused these states to once again require a Coggins test before entering a different state.

Health Certificate/Certificate of Veterinary Inspection

In addition to a Coggins test all horses travelling between states are also required to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, often called health certificate). This is issued by your veterinarian after they perform a basic exam to ensure your animal is healthy enough to travel and is not carrying an infectious disease. This certificate must be issued within 30 days before traveling. There is also a Six-Month Equine Certificate, frequently known as a horse passport, that allows a health exam to be valid for 6 months between the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Montana (although a lifetime brand certificate must accompany the passport for Montana as well as a pre-authorization). During those 6 months it is important to track and record every trip out of state on the back of the passport. At the end of the 6 months a copy must be sent to each state you visited. If the states do not receive enough of these back the 6 month passport program may be discontinued.

Preparing to Travel

Before heading out on your next horse adventure in a neighboring state we advise contacting your veterinarian to find out the requirements to the state you will be travelling to. These rules often differ between states and may change frequently. Currently, in order to bring a horse int

o Oregon your horse must have a negative Coggins test within the last 6 months in addition to a C

VI. A foal under 6 months of age is exempt if they are travelling with their negative Coggins tested

dam. A negative Coggins test is valid in most states for 6-12 months and a health certificate varies between 2 weeks-6 months. You should plan to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a health exam and the blood draw for a Coggins test at least 1-2 weeks before you will travel.

What Happens with no Coggins or CVI?

If you choose to travel with your horse or other animal without the necessary requirements you may face a variety of consequences. You may be stopped at a checkpoint entering a state or at any time in the state by law enforcement. If your animal is found not to have the proper paperwork and permits you may face a fine and/or your animal may be confiscated and quarantined for weeks and additional disease testing may be performed at your cost. In Washington, for example, a fine alone may be from $225 up to $2,000 per horse!

What About Other Species?

Transporting any cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids, etc between states has their own set of requirements. At the minimum all species need a certificate of veterinary inspection to travel to a different state. Depending on the species, age, gender, and state there may also be requirements for additional disease screening tests and animal identification. Please contact your veterinarian several weeks before you plan to ship one of these animals to ensure the proper requirements can be met in time to travel.

Whether showing, moving or camping, it is important to be prepared to travel with your horses. Health-related travel regulations are intended to help control and decrease the spread of infectious disease among horses and other species. Make sure your horses or other animals have the proper paperwork when traveling and do your part in protecting the health of your own horses and those in the places you visit!

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