CLEMSON, S.C. (WCBD)- South Carolina officials have temporarily waived some veterinary requirements for animals being evacuated from Florida in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

The action was taken at the request of animal health officials in Florida where Ian is expected to make landfall on Thursday.

“In order to accommodate evacuations in advance of the hurricane, we are temporarily suspending some of the requirements governing the importation of agricultural and companion animals into South Carolina as we have done with past storms,” Michael Neault, South Carolina State veterinarian, and director of Clemson Livestock-Poultry Health said.

State and federal regulations include requirements for interstate movement and identification of animals in order to prevent the spread of animal disease in horses, cattle, swine, and goats.

Many of the regulations, which typically require certification by veterinarians, have been suspended as a result of Neaults’s declaration, including:

  • Horses being evacuated to South Carolina that have a current Coggins test will be admitted to the state without a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). A current Coggins test chart should accompany these horses.
  • Horses being evacuated to South Carolina without a current Coggins test will be allowed entry into the state provided they will be allowed to return to their state of origin without a current Coggins or CVI after the evacuation is lifted.
  • All other animals being evacuated without a CVI will be temporarily admitted to South Carolina and also allowed to leave South Carolina provided the state to which they are destined also has waived their import requirements.

Officials say all animals that are moved under these expectations are expected to return to Florida no later than Oct. 31, unless the order is extended.

“It is imperative that evacuees verify the facilities to which they are evacuation have room and are also waiving health certificate requirements,” Neault said.

The waiver only applies to animals that are evacuated from Florida due to the hurricane.