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Import horses, ponies or equines

All animals arriving into Bermuda from Canada and/or the United States must be accompanied by an import permit together with an original health certificate.

The health certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian of the country from which the animal is coming, and the health document has been endorsed by a federal veterinary agency.

Importation of horses, ponies and other equines from countries other than the Canada or the United States is permissible, but animals must fully meet entry requirements for the U.S.A. and will be subject to U.S.D.A. quarantine prior to shipping to Bermuda.

Learn about importing animals to Bermuda to find out the general rules and applicable fees.

Requirements and certifications

The following requirements must be met to import horses, ponies, and other equine into Bermuda:

  1. Each animal shall be individually identified.
  2. Each animal has been resident in the United States or Canada during the 60 days preceding exportation or since birth.
  3. Each animal has been inspected on the premises of origin and found free from evidence of communicable diseases and external parasites, and, insofar as can be determined, exposure thereto during the 60 days preceding exportation.
  4. Each animal has not been vaccinated with a live, attenuated or inactivated vaccine during the 14 days preceding exportation.
  5. Each animal is free from African horse sickness, dourine, glanders, surra, epizootic lymphangitis and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis.
  6. Insofar as can be determined, no cases of vesicular stomatitis or equine ulcerative lymphangitis have occurred on the premises of origin or on adjoining premises during the 60 days preceding exportation.
  7. Each animal tested negative to an agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test for equine infectious anemia (EIA) within 60 days preceding exportation.
  8. Each animal has been vaccinated against Western and Eastern equine encephalomyelitis not less than 14 days and not more than one year prior to the date of shipment.
  9. Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM):
  • Each animal has been subjected to the CEM testing protocol appropriate to the individual animal, and in accordance to the Testing Requirements outlined in Part II.2
  • The CEM tests were conducted by a USDA-approved laboratory.
  • The animal showed no clinical signs of CEM on the dates of testing and inspection.
  • From the time of completion of the health inspection and certification until exportation occurs, the animal has been protected from any possibility of contagion.
  • Mare of age 24 months or greater; Female equine of any age that has been bred (naturally or artificially): (Delete as appropriate)
    • The animal has not been on any premises where Taylorella equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation or on any premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • The animal has not been bred naturally to, or inseminated with, semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or with semen from a stallion resident upon any premises where an animal tested positive for CEM, or with semen from a stallion resident on any premises under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • Within 30 days of export, the mare has been subjected to two sets of culture swabs or polymerase chain reaction tests, (taken at an interval of at least 5 days) and each set contained specimens gathered from at least three of the following sites:
      • Uterine endometrium (during estrus);
      • Cervix;
      • Clitoral fossa;
      • Clitoral sinus;
    • and each swab must have a definitive negative result for the CEM contagion.
  • Stallions 24 months of age or older; Stallions of any age that have been used in natural breeding or artificial semen collection; Geldings of any age known to demonstrate libido, based on the owner’s knowledge: (Delete as appropriate.)
    • The animal has not been on any premises where T. equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation or on any premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • The animal has not been bred to a mare positive for CEM, or a mare resident on any premises where an animal tested positive for CEM, or a mare resident on any premises under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • Within 30 days of export, the animal has been subjected to two sets of culture swabs or polymerase chain reaction tests, (taken at an interval of at least 5 days) and each set contained specimens gathered from at least three of the following sites:
      • the urethral fossa & sinus;
      • urethra;
      • external surface of the penis;
      • prepuce;
      • pre-ejaculate fluid or ejaculate.
    • and each swab must have a definitive negative result for the CEM contagion.
  • Gelding not known to demonstrate libido, based on the owner’s knowledge: (Delete as appropriate)
    • The gelding has not been on any premises where T. equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation or on any premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • Based on the owner’s declaration, the gelding does not demonstrate any libido, and was not tested for CEM.
  • Equine less than 24 months of age that has not been used in natural breeding or artificial semen collection: (Delete as appropriate)
    • The animal has not been on any premises where T. equigenitalis has been isolated during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation or on any premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.
    • The animal has not been tested for CEM because it is younger than 24 months of age AND has not been used in natural breeding or artificial insemination collection.

Testing requirements

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA):  AGID test within 60 days prior to exportation.       

Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM):

  • Within 30 days prior to exportation, the animal was subjected to two sets of culture swabs or PCR tests, gathered at intervals of not less than 5 days, and from the urogenital membranes specified above; or
  • Animal qualifies to be exempt from CEM testing because:
    • it is a gelding that does not demonstrate libido; or
    • it is under age 24 months AND has not been involved in natural breeding or artificial insemination collection.

Embarkation certification

At the port of embarkation, a VS port veterinarian shall attach a Certificate of Inspection of Export Animals (VS Form 17-37) to the U.S. Origin Health Certificate, including:

  • The name and address of the consignor.
  • The name and address of the consignee.
  • The number and species of animals to be shipped.
  • A statement that the animals have been given a careful veterinary inspection at the port of embarkation and found to be free from evidence of communicable disease and exposure thereto.

Additional information

Horses are not allowed on the following beaches at certain times of the year:                                                                                                                                                                                 

  • From November 1 to April 30
    • Horses are not allowed on Horseshoe Bay, John Smith’s Bay or Elbow Beach
    • Horses are allowed on other public beaches below the high water mark at any time
  • From May 1 to October 31
    • Horses are not allowed on any portion of South Shore, John Smith’s Bay, Elbow Beach or Shelley Bay
    • Horses are allowed on other public beaches below the high water mark between 5am & 8am.
  • Horseshoe Bay (year-round)
  • John Smith’s Bay (year-round)
  • Elbow Beach Park (year-round)
  • South Shore Park (May 1 to October 31)
  • Shelly Bay Beach Park (May 1 to October 31)

How to apply

Download and complete the application form.

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