Crossing the US/Canadian Border With Horses

Since many of us are not familiar with the requirements for taking horses across the border to Canada and back to the US, I’ve done some research and would like to share my results with you.

One of the key questions I looked at was whether a veterinarian inspection would be required when crossing back into the US, as only the Sumas crossing is staffed with a veterinarian for such inspections (and they normally get Labor Day off). The answer I found is that for horses from the US who have been in Canada less than 30 days, a vet inspection is not required to get back into the US and thus any border crossing may be used.

From a paperwork standpoint, if you are planning to bring a horse to Crown from the US you should make an appointment now with your vet for early August to arrange for the following paperwork to be filled out:

Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins) test – which is valid for six months

US Origin Health Certificate (VS FORM 17-145) – which is valid for 30 days

Note that there is currently a required addendum to the health certificate stating that the horse has not been in Texas or Colorado recently:

August 8, 2014. Effective immediately, due to outbreak of VSV in Texas and Colorado, Canada is prohibiting the import of horses, for ruminant species and swine from Texas and Colorado. Statement to be added on health certificates for horses, ruminant species and swine from states other than Texas and Colorado: “During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the states of Texas or Colorado”.

It is my understanding that you will need the address of your destination in Canada for your paperwork. That address is:

Green Wode Farm

25133 0 Avenue, Langley, BC V4W 2H4

You should also bring:

  • Several copies of your horses health paperwork, as I understand that the Canadian customs will sometimes keep a copy
  • Documentation to show that the horse will only be in Canada temporarily (such as a print out of the event information)

And although I can’t find a hard requirement for it in any of the official literature, proof of ownership is always a good thing when crossing any sort of border with a horse.

For official information from the Canadian side, see this fact sheet:

From this document: “No veterinary inspection is required at the border for horses entering Canada or the US provided the horse returns within 30 days of the date of entry into either the US or Canada on a temporary basis”

For official information from the US side, see:

 From this document: “US origin horses traveling into Canada for 30 days or less are not subject to port inspection.”