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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

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American Horse Council

Press Release

 

February 15, 2007
 

           

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

 

 

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