APHIS Updates Accredited Veterinarian Regulations

  |   Federal Regulatory

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating its regulations for the accredited veterinarian program, in order to clarify program definitions.

These administrative changes will ensure the terminology in the regulation is consistent with how the terms are being used in the accreditation program. They will also ensure the regulation contains an accurate list of all the programs covered under the Animal Health Protection Act. The specific changes include:

  • Adding definitions for accreditation and authorization
  • Clarifying the definition for accredited veterinarian
  • Updating the definitions of Category I animals, Category II animals, and Official certificate, form, record, report, tag, band, or other identification
  • Replacing the term Veterinarian-in-Charge with the term Veterinary Official.

Accredited veterinarians are private veterinarians who receive additional training and are authorized to complete specific tasks and paperwork on behalf of APHIS. These include animal inspections, testing and certifications. Accredited veterinarians serve as the first line of defense in defending our country from emerging and foreign animal diseases. They also play a key role in facilitating live animal exports. This is important for producers, as it is another source of revenue. But is just as important for everyday citizens who want to bring their pets with them when traveling overseas. Neither of these can happen without health certificates. Accredited veterinarians are an important resource for APHIS, our nation’s livestock and poultry producers, and our country’s pet owners.

APHIS received five comments during the 60-day public comment period. APHIS made two slight changes in response to the comments, to make a specific term more clear and to provide greater flexibility for how a veterinarian can prove he or she is legally able to practice veterinary medicine in a given state.

The changes are effective March 26, 2020.



Posted March 6, 2020