Charleston, WV - The West Virginia Department
of Agriculture (WVDA) announced it will be waiving normal entry requirements
for horses evacuated due to Hurricane Irma. The decision was made after the
State Fair of West Virginia offered to help horse owners who are looking for
temporary housing. The fair has already received several calls from owners
evacuating the Carolinas.
"In the military, we never leave a man or woman behind.
This is the least we can do to help our fellow Americans," said
Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. "When our state was flooded
last year, our neighbors pitched in. It is time we return the favor."
Normally, all equines entering West Virginia from other states
are required to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued within 30 days
and a negative Coggins test within the past year. State Veterinarian Dr. James Maxwell made the decision to waive
those requirements after a conference call Thursday with stakeholders. Many
shelters available to those evacuating will not accept large animals such as
"This is common practice in emergency situations. Just like
people, we must get animals out of harm's way," said Dr. Maxwell.
"Neighboring states to Florida, like Alabama and Georgia, can run out of
stall space quickly."
If horse owners are looking for shelter for equines, please
contact the WVDA, 304-558-3200 or the State Fair of West Virginia,
Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director email@example.com, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922