South Carolina officials have issued a temporary waiver of certain requirements for farm and companion animals being evacuated from Florida due to Tropical Storm Idalia.
The action was requested by animal health officials in Florida, where Idalia is projected to make landfall as a hurricane Wednesday.
“In order to accommodate evacuations in advance of Idalia, we are temporarily suspending some of the requirements governing the importation of agricultural and companion animals into South Carolina as we have done with past storms,” said Michael Neault, South Carolina State Veterinarian, and director of Clemson Livestock-Poultry Health.
To prevent the spread of animal disease, both state and federal regulations include requirements for interstate movement and identification of animals, such as horses, cattle, swine and goats. These regulations frequently require health status certification by veterinarians.
While the order suspends some regulations for the interstate transport of animals, it does not require boarding facilities and evacuation shelters to follow suit.
“It is imperative that evacuees verify the facilities to which they are evacuating have room and are also waiving health certificate requirements,” Neault said.
Neaults’s declaration waives the following requirements for Florida’s animals:
- Horses being evacuated to South Carolina with a current Coggins test will be admitted to South Carolina without an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI). A current Coggins test chart should accompany these horses.
- Horses being evacuated to South Carolina without a current Coggins test will be temporarily allowed entry into South Carolina provided they will be allowed to return to their state of origin without a current Coggins or ICVI after the evacuation is lifted.
- All other animals being evacuated without an ICVI will be temporarily allowed entry into South Carolina provided they will be allowed to return to their state of origin without an ICVI after the evacuation is lifted.
- This suspension only applies to interstate transportation of animals and does not suspend the South Carolina law for cats, dogs and ferrets which are required to be current with their rabies vaccination.
All animals moving under these exceptions are expected to return to their state of origin no later than Sept. 30, 2022, unless the order is extended or revised.
South Carolina and states throughout the Southeast have taken similar action during past hurricanes to help save the lives of animal owners and valuable livestock and pets. The waivers apply only to animals being evacuated from Florida due to the hurricane.
Information for animal owners on emergency preparedness, response and recovery is posted on the LPH Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery page.
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