South Dakota allows for 6 month horse health certificates |

South Dakota allows for 6 month horse health certificates

The South Dakota Animal Industry Board recently approved a new 6 month travel certificate for horses. Photo by Cheyann Demoney

Some South Dakotans qualify for a new 6-month horse health certificate, said the state veterinarian.

Those who travel out of state were previously required to keep an up-to-date Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI or “health certificate”) which was good for 30 days, said state veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven.

The state Animal Industry Board recently approved an Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI) that can be used in certain cases for transporting horses out of state for short-term events like shows, rodeos, trail rides, etc.

Oedekoven said the EECVI is not intended for longer term stays out of state for breeding or change of ownership.

While he was initially concerned about the health implications of a longer-lasting health certificate, Oedekoven said several other states have moved in that direction, and that in many cases, communication with the travelers is improved, which helps keep both the horse owners and health officials informed of horses’ whereabouts and disease problems that crop up. The 6-month certificate will put more responsibility on the person traveling with the horse, to watch for potential health issues.

“Most of these people are well aware of the risks and concerns that go along with frequent movement of horses,” said Oedekoven. Plus, he said, even with a 30-day certificate, a horse might get sick while the certificate is still in effect.

Horse owners can acquire an EECVI from their participating veterinarian, who will complete an examination of the horse and discuss biosecurity, sanitation and health, said Oedekoven.

The horse must have a current negative Coggins test (for Equine Infectious Anemia) as well as an official identification which may include a US approved microchip, digital photographs or a lifetime brand inspection card from the South Dakota Brand Board, in order to qualify for the EECVI.

“We view it as a more comprehensive inspection than might normally occur for a 30 day inspection. There should be discussion with the owners about recognizing signs of illness, taking temperatures if requested, things like that.”

Oedekoven said the horse owner will be required to log in to, the company who issues the 6 month certificate, to report movements of the horse. State animal health officials will be able to communicate with horse owners about potential disease concerns prior to movement, through

“If something comes up in South Dakota and Wyoming, for example, we can share information about it and encourage the folks who might be affected, to be taking temperatures or monitor for certain signs of illness. It can also be interactive between animal health officials and users. If a disease shows up at an event, and we become aware of it after the fact, we can communicate electronically with the people who were there, and let them know that disease was identified there.”

Oedekoven said the certificates can be cancelled if needed. “If we were to get vesicular stomatitis, for example, we might suspended EECVI’s to or from areas where the disease has been identified. Or we might continue as normal and encourage travelers to monitor for certain conditions.”

Prior to interstate movement, the owner of the horse will log into an online portal with and report travel itineraries for horses traveling on an EECVI. Upon reporting travel, the portal may notify the owner of any additional requirements, disease concerns, or precautions listed by the state of destination. A permit is automatically generated and the state animal health offices in the states of origin and destination are notified of the movement and current EECVI. EECVIs may be terminated at any time by the issuing veterinarian or the state animal health official.

A new permit is generated by for each new out-of-state travel activity. If the horse owner is required to show the permit for any reason, he or she can pull it up on a device like a smart phone, or the permit can be printed on paper for the trip, he said.

The new 6 month certificate will allow the horse owner to travel to those states that accept the EECVI. The horse owner can travel through states that don’t accept the EECVI.

According to, the states that are currently participating in the new EECVI program include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington (extensive entry restrictions), West Virginia and Wyoming.

Oedekoven said other states are considering the EECVI but need to make regulatory, administrative or statutory changes to allow for it.