AHC Comments on USDA Proposal for
Permanent Privately-Owned Quarantine Facilities
The American Horse Council has submitted comments supporting the United
States Department of Agriculture's proposed rules for Permanent
Privately-Owned Horse Quarantine Facilities. Within the comments, the AHC
expressed its support of permanent privately-owned quarantine facilities,
mentioning some key points that it wished to emphasize within the proposal,
as well as some concerns.
There were two items in particular that the AHC supported and wanted to
emphasize within the comments. The first was the importance of having APHIS
personnel present at the privately-owned facilities in order to provide the
oversight and assistance necessary to ensure the biological security of the
facility. The second item emphasized was the importance that the
establishment of permanent privately-owned quarantine facilities not have
any affect on temporary, privately owned quarantine facilities, which are an
important resource to the horse industry and have worked well.
The AHC did have a few concerns with the proposal as written. One of the
concerns was on potential locations for the quarantine facilities, and the
lack of clear limits for the location of the facilities from the port of
entry. Also regarding location, the AHC suggested that USDA re-instate the
requirement that a facility must be located at least one-half mile from any
premises holding livestock or horses. The final comment was that the AHC
feels that vaccinations should be permitted during the quarantine period as
long as blood has already been taken for import testing, for they did not
see any risk that this would pose in affecting the diagnostic serology.
The AHC reiterated its appreciation and support of the USDA's
important effort to respond to the horse industry's growing need for
additional import facilities though privately-operated stations.
The full-text of these comments is available on the Health & Regulations
section of the American Horse Council website, www.horsecouncil. org