Equine (Horses, Mules, Zebra & Donkeys) Entry Requirements

For equine movements into the state, California requires a valid Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), issued within 30 days before entry, and evidence of a negative Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test performed at a USDA-approved laboratory within twelve (12) months before the date of entry. An EIA test "pending" result does not meet the entry requirement.

These requirements apply to horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, burros and zebras.

EIA Test Exemption

Nursing foals, less than six (6) months of age, being moved with an EIA test negative dam are exempt for the EIA test requirement.

Accredited Veterinarians are responsible for accurately completing the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. The veterinarian's access to accurate information at the time of inspection will ensure that the CVI contains essential information for movement. Horse owners are an important source of this information.

The CVI must accurately represent the official animal identification of each horse in the shipment.

Vesicular Stomatitis

Based on the international delisting of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) and recent scientific evidence, California is revising the VS entry requirement statement on Certificates of Veterinary Inspection from VS affected states.

California import requirements specify that all horses, cattle, sheep, goats and swine originating from any state where vesicular stomatitis (VS) has been diagnosed, (except cattle and swine transported directly to slaughter), must be accompanied by a health certificate (certificate of veterinary inspection) and signed by an accredited veterinarian that includes the following statement:

“I have examined all the animals identified on this certificate within seven (7) days of shipment date and found them to be free from signs of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS). During the last fourteen (14) days, these animals have not been exposed to VS nor located on a VS confirmed or a VS suspected premises.”

Note The Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) for California horses returning to California from a VS Affected State must include the VS statement written by an Accredited Veterinarian in the VS Affected State.

Official Methods of Equine Identification

  • A description to identify the individual equine including, but not limited to, name, age, breed, color, gender, distinctive markings, and unique permanent forms of identification (e.g., brands, tattoos, scars, cowlicks, blemishes or iris scans).
  • Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine
  • USDA Compliant 134.2 kHz microchips
  • All 125 and 128 kHz microchips implanted prior to March 2014.

Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection

In addition to the official animal identification, the CVI must accurately document:

  • The name of the shipper
  • The physical address or location for the point-of-origin of the movement
  • The name of the receiver
  • The physical address or location for the point-of-destination
  • The species and number in the shipment
  • The purpose of the movement
  • The date of the EIA test, the name of the laboratory that performed the test, the laboratory accession number and the test result
  • The date of the veterinary inspection.

The Accredited Veterinarian, who issues the CVI, is responsible for accurately entering the required information and for completing and signing the Veterinary Certification on the CVI. Accredited veterinarians must retain a copy of a CVI for five (5) years.

Contact Us

CDFA Animal Health and Food Safety Services,
Animal Health Branch

1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: 916-900-5002
Fax: 916-900-5333
Email: ahbfeedback@cdfa.ca.gov
Our offices are open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time.