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Quarantine quandary

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 20, 2014 8:55 p.m

If I wish to import a horse into the United States from any African country other than Morocco, the horse needs to undergo a 60-day quarantine period at a USDA-approved quarantine facility prior to mingling with the general population of horses in this country.

Africa has a disease called African horse sickness (AHS), which does not exist in the U.S. AHS does not cause disease in people, only horses; our government has determined that it would be devastating to the U.S. horse industry if it were to come here.

I can’t legally cross state lines in the United States with a horse or cow without a health certificate signed by a USDA-accredited veterinarian stating that the animal has been inspected and found free of infectious disease. In most cases, blood tests are also required.

If I am a resident of Liberia incubating Ebola, all I need to do to enter the United States is present a valid visa and lie when asked if I have been exposed to Ebola. Within hours (no quarantine required), I can be walking the streets of any city in the United States.

I feel very fortunate to live in a country that values our animals so highly.

Ed Liberatore

Turtle Creek

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