Stay updated on various legislative updates from around the globe on agreements, changes, and regulations that affect animal transport.
  • 22 Jan 2016 4:33 PM | Deleted user

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule updating its regulations for the export of live animals. The updated regulations provide additional flexibility and better facilitate exports in today’s business environment, while continuing to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock.
    The new regulations update most of the requirements for export certifications, tests, and treatments. APHIS will continue to retain certain export requirements that we consider necessary to ensure the health and welfare of the animals, such as issuance of export health certificates (EHCs) for livestock intended for export.
    The final rule also includes the following changes:

    • If the importing country requires EHCs for animals other than livestock, hatching eggs or animal germplasm, then we would require such certificates.
    • Under certain circumstances, pre-export livestock inspection would be allowed to occur at facilities other than an export inspection facility at the port of embarkation; and
    • Specific standards for export inspection facilities and ocean transport vessels would be replaced with performance standards.

    These changes are in line with the agency’s ongoing effort to review and streamline its regulations. The goal is to make our regulations more responsive to customer needs, easier to update in the future and more performance-based.
    The regulation is currently on display  in the Federal Register and can be viewed at:

  • 25 Nov 2015 1:03 PM | Deleted user

    In a letter being provided to all Station Managers at U.S. ports of entry, the CDC states: "In an ongoing effort to avoid undue burden and stress to airlines and pet owners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reaching out directly to airlines to promote full compliance with CDC's animal importation regulations."

    The letter reviews the CDC's dog and cat importation requirements, a carrier's responsibilities, and, if requirements are not met, possible CDC action (e.g., entry denial and re-export).

    The CDC importation requirements apply equally to all dogs, including puppies and service and emotional support animals (ref:

  • 13 Nov 2015 12:09 PM | Deleted user

    Technical amendments to the EU-New Zealand Agreement on sanitary measures in live animals and animal products have recently been made to boost existing trade relations. This updated agreement, which has been in place since 1996, is the most advanced international bilateral agreement in the area of animal health, animal welfare and food safety systems.

    Key innovative features that will lead to further trade opportunities whilst reducing costs for exporters are:

    • Enhanced equivalence provisions including EU standards for raw milk products;
    • Mutual recognition of microbiological controls and chemical testing standards for seafood;
    • Trade conditions to permit trade in certain products with agreed treatments during disease outbreaks;
    • Reduced physical inspection rates on products;
    • Resumption of fresh pig meat exports to New Zealand; and
    • Simplified certification and a move to electronic certification in 2016.

    Worth €427 million in 2014, EU agricultural exports to New Zealand have increased significantly with a 20% annual average growth over the last five years. Several key commodities have also experienced high growth over recent years including pork products and cheese. New Zealand has authorised imports of high value raw milk products, such as Roquefort, Camembert and Emmental and fresh pig meat, from the EU. Both these products have significant potential for growth. New Zealand was also the very first country in the world to re-authorise exports of EU beef following the BSE crisis.

    Other important benefits of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand are:

    • The EU and New Zealand are complementary suppliers of high-quality products. Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, their production and exports peak in a way that is counter-cyclical to EU pastoral producers. This means products from New Zealand complement those from the EU, maintaining year round availability of certain products.
    • The EU is New Zealand’s largest source of imported goods and services.
    • Through the mutual recognition of regionalisation under the Agreement, trade in animal products such as pork to continue, despite recent EU outbreaks of African Swine Fever, from regions that remain unaffected by the disease.

    These benefits bring substantial economic incentives and maintain sustainable trade flows between both parties.

  • 12 Nov 2015 1:51 PM | Deleted user

    The House has passed a six-year, $325-billion transportation bill after votes on nearly 100 amendments including one that rejected a measure some said would have revamped weight limits on over-the-road trucks that have been in place since 1982.

    The bill now goes to a conference committee that will seek to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, possibly bringing a compromise measure back to both floors of Congress before the current legislation expires on Nov. 20.

    The lengthy voting on the amendments, which finally ended with the House passing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 by a vote of 363-64 on Thursday (Nov. 5) led to the issuing of some angry statements by farm organizations that supported changes to the transportation bill.

    “The National Cattleman’s Beef Association is greatly disappointed in the members of Congress who opposed modernizing America’s transportation laws,” said NCBA President Phillip Ellis after they voted against an amendment offered by Florida Rep. Tom Rooney to increase the weight limit for trucks hauling livestock to 95,000 pounds.

    “Without the inclusion of Rep. Rooney’s amendment, Rep. Reid Ribble’s amendment or language to address the mandatory 30-minute rest period rule, there is nothing to support in H.R. 22 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, and NCBA strongly opposes its passage.”

    Earlier, more than 70 food and agriculture organizations had asked Congress to pass the Safe, Flexible and Efficient Trucking Act (H.R. 3488), offered by Rep. Ribble, as an amendment to the highway reauthorization legislation.

    Increase in weight limits

    The groups – which range from the American Farm Bureau Federation to the National Farmers Union to the NCBA – sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to include the SAFE Trucking bill in the highway measure.

    “In the agriculture and food industries, our farms and businesses are growing and making products more resourcefully, but outdated federal transportation rules force trucks to leave the farm and our plants when they are partly empty,” the letter signed by the organizations said.

    “By giving states the option to raise the federal gross vehicle weight limit from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds for trucks equipped with six axles rather than the typical five, the SAFE Trucking Act would safely modernize truck shipments on interstate highways by reducing the number of trucks needed to move our commodities and products through better utilization of existing capacity.”

    In its most recent “Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study,” the U.S. Department of Transportation found that six-axle trucks can safely weigh up to 91,000 pounds—the configuration allowable under the SAFE Trucking Act—while yielding significant truckload reductions, pavement wear savings and environmental efficiency benefits without diverting significant freight from rail, the letter noted.

    The U.S. DOT says the configuration is compliant with the federal bridge formula, and that wide use of the SAFE Trucking Act configuration would not cause any increase in one-time rehabilitation costs for Interstate bridges. the SAFE Trucking Act enables the U.S. DOT to require additional safety equipment for these vehicles before states can put these trucks to work.

    The House rejected Ribble's offering of the SAFE Trucking Act, 187 to 236.

    Other farm organizations seemed to be ready to move on after the House passed the transportation bill, which was extended to six years instead of three and increased by $40 billion above the original funding provided.

    Nov. 20 funding deadline

    The National Corn Growers Association thanked the House for its passage and urged House and Senate conferees to reconcile their respective transportation bills and send it to the White House for signature, before federal transportation funding expires on November 20.

    “On behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers, thank you to the House for passing this important legislation,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland. “Up to 80 percent of America’s corn crop is trucked to market, so this issue affects all of us. Safe roads and bridges allow us to get our products to market quickly, safely and efficiently.

    “When roads and bridges aren’t properly maintained, it’s not just a nuisance – it puts our safety at risk and hurts our bottom lines.”

    Bowling also alluded to the SAFE Trucking Act’s rejection. This bipartisan amendment, which was sponsored by Reps. Ribble, Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., David Rouzer, R-N.C., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., saying it would have improved the efficiency of America’s food supply chain by modernizing truck weight limits.

    “The SAFE Trucking Act would have helped farmers get their product to market more efficiently. While we are disappointed that this amendment was defeated, we are happy to see Congress moving forward on long-term highway funding,” said Bowling.

    The National Grain and Feed Association also applauded the passage of the transportation bill, noting the House had addressed a priority for the NGFA by including language to extend the deadline for rail carriers to install positive train control (PTC) technology for three years - to Dec. 31, 2018.

    Continue the fight

    “However, the NGFA will continue to advocate for provisions not included in the six-year bill,” said NGFA President Randy Gordon. “For instance, the association supported the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act that would have allowed trucks with six axles to transport up to 91,000 pounds on Interstate highways. The federal weight limit for Interstate highways has been set at 80,000 pounds since 1982.”

    “Federal highway truck weight limits currently are lower than most state road weight limits, and this inconsistency presents obstacles to efficient movement of U.S. grains,” said NGFA Director of Economics and Government Affairs Max Fisher. “Our organization, as well as the rest of the coalition that supports the amendment, is evaluating how to proceed in our efforts to update truck weight limits on Interstate highways.”

    The NGFA joined several other agricultural organizations in sending a letter to House members this week outlining several prioritized transportation provisions. These include decreasing the commercial driver's license age for interstate transit through a proposed pilot program and collecting data on key port performance metrics.

    For more on this legislation, visit

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