(June 06, 2013)
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Louis E. Petersen, Jr., PhD, wishes to inform the public that the temporary ban on importation of horses from or traveling through Puerto Rico has been lifted. After consultation with the USDA, it has been determined that introduction of the disease Contagious Equine Metritis or CEM no longer poses a threat to the Virgin Islands horse population.Commissioner Petersen states “The infected horse and the horses in contact with her have been identified, quarantined and tested in Puerto Rico and have had no contact with other horses. Therefore, there is no danger now for horses traveling to the Virgin Islands to become infected with the disease CEM”.Dr. Bethany Bradford, Director of Veterinary Services, said “Because the disease has been contained, there is no reason to expect further infection in Puerto Rico so it is safe to lift the ban on imported horses. However, because the origin of the disease is still unknown, testing for this disease will now be required for mares and stallions coming from the United States and Puerto Rico.”Dr. Bradford wishes to thank the horse owners for their understanding and patience. “I realize that this was inconvenient for many horse owners and for the racing industry. However, I believe most people understood the importance of protecting our horses and doing what is necessary to prevent disease outbreaks.”For more information contact the Division of Veterinary Services at 778-0998 extension 252.
Governor John P. DeJongh, Jr.My Administration is firmly committed to supporting economic development in the United States Virgin Islands. We boast a strong and rapidly growing economy that is evident with an unprecedented influx of business development to our islands on a daily basis. We are unique and our beloved Territory offers many benefits: We use U.S. Currency and have the protection of the U.S. flag and U.S. courts. Manufacturers have duty-free, quota-free access to the U.
On February 5, 2010, USDA announced a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States. The framework will provide the basic tenets of an improved animal disease traceability capability in the United States.  USDA’s efforts will: Only apply