According to Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia horse owners have a new opportunity to travel with their horses throughout the southeastern United States for six months using the new Equine Interstate Event Permit. Effective immediately, horse owners may elect to obtain the six-month passport in lieu of a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection that is only good for 30 days.
“Horse owners have asked for this interstate event permit option for some time,” said Dr. Wilkes, “but we had to ensure that we could provide the convenience of a six-month passport while continuing to protect Virginia’s equine industry from disease. We have developed the database and record-keeping system and have a Memorandum of Agreement with 14 states that allow us to move forward with issuing the permit.”
Participating states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The state of New York just recently announced that it will also accept the six-month permit.
Horse owners may apply to obtain an Equine Interstate Event Permit from their accredited veterinarian. For each horse permitted, the owner must fill out and sign an application, present a Virginia origin Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or health paper/certificate, have a valid negative Coggins test, and be able to document microchip identification or provide three view digital photos of the animal. Owners also will need to demonstrate their ability to perform an abbreviated physical exam that includes taking each horse’s temperature. They will need to record that information on the horse’s travel itinerary with each interstate movement.
For more information about the Virginia equine passport application process, horse owners or veterinarians should contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483. Horse owners and veterinarians may find additional information on the VDACS website.