Public Service and Agriculture

State suspends some requirements for animal evacuation due to Hurricane Florence


Evacuation sign

COLUMBIA — State Veterinarian Boyd Parr has suspended some of the requirements for the interstate transport of animals to accommodate evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence.

“Due to potential emergency conditions that appear likely due to Hurricane Florence, South Carolina will make temporary exceptions to the regulations governing the importation and exportation of animals coming into and leaving South Carolina,” Parr said. “Evacuees should verify that the facilities to which they are evacuating also are waiving requirements before arriving at those facilities.”

Parr directs Clemson University’s Livestock-Poultry Health (LPH), a regulatory agency that oversees animal health issues. He issued the order Monday afternoon.

Both state and federal regulations provide for restriction of movement, quarantine and identification of animals, such as horses, cattle, swine and goats, to prevent the spread of animal disease. These regulations frequently require certification by veterinarians as to the health of the animals being transported.

Parr’s declaration waives many of those requirements. 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.

The order extends until Sept. 30 unless extended or rescinded.

As of Monday evening, Parr said Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida had issued similar suspensions for South Carolina horses. North Carolina is expected to make a similar declaration, he said.

Clemson LPH issued similar waivers last year when Hurricane Irma stuck Florida and brought its wind and rain northward through Alabama and Tennessee.

Chris Heintze, director of Clemson’s T. Ed Garrison Arena in Pendleton, said more than 30 evacuated horses had taken up residence there by Monday.

Dozens more had called to reserve space, Heintze said, although he said it was too early to tell how many actually would evacuate.

The Garrison arena has substantial livestock barns and stalls to accommodate the major livestock shows it hosts.

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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