South Carolina officials have issued a temporary waiver of certain requirements for farm and companion animals being evacuated from Florida and Georgia due to Hurricane Ian.
The action was requested by animal health officials in both states where Ian is projected to make landfall later this week.
“In order to accommodate evacuations in advance of the hurricane, 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 certification by veterinarians as to the health status of the animals being transported.
Neaults’s declaration waives many of those requirements for Florida’s animals. Specifically:
- Horses being evacuated to South Carolina that have a current Coggins test will be admitted to the state without a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). A current Coggins test chart should accompany these horses.
- Horses being evacuated to South Carolina without a current Coggins test will be allowed entry into the state provided they will be allowed to return to their state of origin without a current Coggins or CVI after the evacuation is lifted.
- All other animals being evacuated without a CVI will be temporarily admitted to South Carolina and also allowed to leave South Carolina provided the state to which they are destined also has waived their import requirements.
All animals moving under these exceptions are expected to return to their state of origin no later than Oct. 31, 2022, unless the order is extended or revised.
“It is imperative that evacuees verify the facilities to which they are evacuating have room and are also waiving health certificate requirements,” Neault said.
South Carolina and states throughout the Southeast have taken similar action during past hurricanes to help save the lives of 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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