Traveling out of Mississippi (or any state) with your farm animal or horse isn't as easy as buying a trailer and heading off to your destination. Before you leave, you will need to ensure that you have all of the health certificates your animal needs to cross state lines. Today, our Hattiesburg and Wiggins vets talk about how you can get a health certificate for your animal.
Who Can Provide Large Animal Health Certificates?
You might think that any licensed veterinarian can give out health certificates to their patients. But that is not the case. A licensed vet can choose to take on additional training to become an accredited vet who can issue health certificates.
This accreditation has to come through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP). NVAP-accredited vets may perform testing for government disease programs and are authorized to prepare Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, or "health certificates" so that animals can move across the state or national borders.
Why Do I Need Health Certifications For My Animal?
All livestock brought into a state must be accompanied by an official health certificate stating that the animals are healthy, free from signs of infectious or contagious diseases and signs of internal and external parasites, and meet the specific requirements stated in this regulation.
The certifications required to transport animals from one area to another or for animals to participate in certain events, such as specific shows, rides, or sales help to ensure that the animals being moved do not carry illnesses or parasites that would be harmful to the people or animals that are in the destination area or that are participating in the same event.
How Long Will My Animal's Health Certificate be Valid For?
Health certificates are only valid for 30 days. So if you are planning to travel with your horse or other farm animals, make sure you plan accordingly.
How Do I Know What Certifications My Animal Needs?
Every state and country is different, so, there is no easy answer to this question. To know exactly what certifications your animal will need you will have to do some research.
A helpful resource for information about animal movement requirements is the state animal health official (usually the State Veterinarian) in the state that you are traveling to. The animal health official of each state needs to be a standing member of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA).
You can also speak to your veterinarian and they can help direct you to the right resources that will help make this task easier.