If you're a Virginia equestrian who likes to travel across country for extended periods of time, life may have just gotten easier for you.
Virginia just announced it is now issuing a new equine permit, the Equine Interstate Event Permit or EIEP, that allows horse owners to move animals throughout the Southeast U.S. for six months. The six-month permit is an elective for horse owners, 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," says Richard. Wilkes, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, "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."
States that have signed onto the Memorandum of Agreement with Virginia include North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The state of New York just recently announced it will also accept the six-month permit.
To obtain an Equine Interstate Event Permit horse owners apply to their accredited veterinarian. For each horse permitted, the owner must fill out and sign an application, present a Virginia origin Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) 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.
To learn more about the EIEP, horse owners or veterinarians can contact VDACS' Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483. They can find additional information on the VDACS website at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/eiep.shtml