The Division of Animal Industry is concerned with disease control and animal disease traceability. Infectious and communicable diseases affecting domestic animals continue to exist in this state and that existence endangers the health and welfare of the people. Therefore, to provide adequate control, permits are issued to those who, as a business, deal in, handle, and transport domestic animals.
Any person who buys or sells livestock (cattle, swine, horses, deer, camelids, sheep, goats, or poultry) as a business practice, not as part of a breeding, feeding, or dairy operation, needs a domestic animal health permit.
By law the following people must hold a Domestic Animal Health Permit (DAHP) granted by the Commissioner:
- Anyone who is a dealer
- Anyone who conducts an auction where livestock or sold
- Anyone who transports poultry
- Anyone who rescues equines and/or livestock and rehomes them
All permits are issued for a two year period and expire two years from the date of issue. A person who represents a buyer or seller in a transaction is also considered a dealer and complete records must be kept.
Obtain a Permit
In order to obtain a Domestic Animal Health Permit (DAHP), please complete a DAHP application and supplement and send them, along with a $50 fee, to the Division of Animal Industry.
The Division of Animal Industry will review and verify whether the applicant is registered and bonded with USDA Packers and Stockyards or licensed and bonded with the Department.
If the applicant is registered or licensed as stipulated, the DAHP is issued.
If the applicant is not registered or licensed, please send a DAHP supplement to the Department to obtain the necessary license or registration. Once you obtain the appropriate registration or licensing, the DAHP can be issued.
In most cases, livestock dealers, whether they are registered with USDA or licensed with New York State, are required to have the DAHP. Since most livestock dealers conduct some business at livestock auctions, it is preferable and more economical to pursue registration with the USDA. Livestock dealers cannot act as a slaughterhouse buyer (packer-buyer).
Inspection and Record Keeping
After the application is received at the Department, a field inspector from the Division of Animal Industry will contact the applicant to schedule an initial meeting within 30 days.
The inspector will deliver record books and explain the requirements for record keeping. The records of each DAHP holder will be reviewed on a regular basis. By regulation, DAHP holders must present records at all reasonable times to a representative of the Department and/or a duly authorized representative of USDA immediately upon request.
DAHP holders must keep a record of all livestock purchased, sold or otherwise handled. The records shall contain:
- Ear tag numbers and sales tag numbers
- Sales tag numbers must be included in addition to ear tag numbers; they may not be used in place of ear tag numbers. An official ear tag must be applied if no other official form of identification is present. An official backtag is sufficient for animals moving directly to slaughter. The Department distributes official tags to DAHP holders at no charge.
- Notation of all other identification, including herd management tags, tattoos, and brands
- Details of the animal, including:
- Approximate age or symbols (for example: calf = C; heifer = Hfr; adult = A)
- Name and address of the person from whom the animal purchased
- Month, day, and year of purchase
- Name and address of the person to whom the animal was sold
- Month, day, and year of sale
The records must be legible and there can be no erasures. If a mistake is made, it should be indicated as such and the correct information written in the next space.
Department laws and regulations require dealers to properly identify animals handled and record the details of all transactions to allow for tracing to the point of origin and disposition. Learn more about records and record keeping; identification requirements; import requirements; personal use; and more.
Equine and Other Livestock Rescues
Agriculture and Markets’ Part 61 and Article 5, Section 90 requires all parties dealing in livestock, including horses, to obtain a Domestic Animal Health Permit (DAHP). It has been determined that the activities of equine rescue organizations fall under the requirement if they are engaged in activities where horses are taken in and subsequently placed with a third party. This also includes horses that are brokered and never come to the premises of the organization. There is no exemption in the law for incorporated, nonprofit organizations or organizations with 501c3 status. Those organizations that take in horses that will permanently stay in their facilities and do not place any horses with third parties are not required to have a DAHP.
Please be advised that the Agriculture and Markets Law (A&ML) has been amended to add Section 382, which became effective on January 1, 2022. As of that date, a person or a business entity may not slaughter, for a commercial purpose, an animal known to be a “race horse” (that is, a thoroughbred or standardbred horse eligible to race at a licensed race track), or known to be “breeding stock” (that is, a horse used to produce a foal intended to be used as a race horse). In addition, a person or business entity that owns or is in the process of taking ownership of a race horse or breeding stock may not deal in an animal known to be a race horse or breeding stock with the intent of slaughtering such animal or causing it to be slaughtered.
Please be further advised that a person or business entity that violates one or both prohibitions, as referred to above, is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a monetary penalty. If that person or business entity holds a New York State Gaming Commission license, they may also have their license revoked.
The legislative intent, in enacting A&ML Section 382, is to ensure that race horses and breeding stock, which have brought so much joy to so many, are handled with the respect that they deserve. If you learn of a violation of the prohibition, please inform local law enforcement of the situation. For additional details on A&ML section 382, please visit nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/AGM/382. Additionally, stay up-to-date with the latest information about horses in New York State at agriculture.ny.gov/animals/horses-other-equidae.
File a Complaint
The Department reviews all complaints expressing concern regarding any person who buys, sells, or rescues domestic livestock. Complaints about people dealing livestock without a permit, knowledge of any reportable diseases in their animals, violation of a quarantine order or other violation, should be made directly to the Department using the complaint form below.
If you have a concern about the care or welfare of livestock and poultry, please contact your local law enforcement or SPCA directly. Issues of noise, odor, sanitation, and animal cruelty are regulated at the municipal level, and are not in the Department’s jurisdiction.