There are a variety of diseases that horse owners should be aware of. These include:

Visit Cornell University and the USDA for more information about each of these diseases.

Diseases need to be reported to the Department when they meet certain criteria.


Freeze branding is allowed in New York for horses, but is not considered official identification. The Department maintains a brand registry. If you wish to register a brand you can send your design to our office.

We will compare your brand to our registry and will register it if it is unique. Branding is not considered veterinary practice. You may need a veterinarian if tranquilization is necessary.

Please note that although freeze brands are not considered official identification, they are permanent identification and as such should be recorded on test charts and Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.

Import & Export

Emergency Information

See emergency import and export information.



The requirements for importing horses and equidae into New York State are:

  • Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued within 30 days of entry by an accredited veterinarian.
  • For animals 6 months of age and older, a negative test report for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) conducted during the 12 months preceding importation. 
    • Electronic EIA (Coggins) test reports must include 3 pictures of the tested horse or a complete physical description.

No permit number is required for importation into New York State.


Special Considerations

In addition to New York State import requirements, animals whose destination is within New York City may be subject to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regulations. Horses entering New York City for any reason must meet these regulations. Please visit their website or call (646) 364-1783.


The USDA has jurisdiction over international movement of animals. Any questions about international movement of animals or animal products should be directed to a USDA office. Contact the New York USDA office.


Intrastate Requirements

All horses and equidae transported on a public road in New York State must be accompanied by a copy of a current negative test report for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).  There are only three exceptions:

  1. The horse is under 6 months old
  2. The horse is going directly to a livestock market for sale as a green-tagged animal, and that market has permission from the state to accept horses without current EIA tests.
  3. The horse is being transported directly from a livestock market approved by the state to sell green-tagged equids with pending EIA tests. These animals will have a pending EIA test from the livestock market. The green market tag cannot come off the animal before the results are received by the new owner.
    • Specific conditions required for this transport from an approved market:
      • The animal is moved to a single location pending test results.
      • Animal was sold directly by the market to the purchaser with no intermediate ownership (not purchased at the market and then re-sold prior to receipt of EIA test results).
      • The animal was sold as a green-tagged animal and the green tag is still on the animal.

If you purchase a horse in New York and a copy of the EIA test is not provided, you cannot legally transport the horse. In addition, a Domestic Animal Health Permit holder is not allowed to sell or transfer ownership of a horse without a current EIA test . Knowing this requirement in advance lets you check that the seller has a copy of the EIA test to hand to you before you start your journey to pick up the animal. 

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.

Fair Information

The Department's Division of Animal Industry sets guidelines to help ensure the health and safety of animals at county fairs across New York, in addition to the Great New York State Fair. Animal health requirements for 2024 county fairs and the New York State Fair are available below. Learn more about fairs in New York.

Programs & Permits

Domestic Animal Health Permits

The Department is concerned with animal disease control and traceability in all animals, including horses. To provide adequate control of infectious and communicable diseases, permits are issued to those who deal in, handle, and transport domestic animals. Any person who buys or sells horses is an animal dealer and must have a Domestic Animal Health Permit.

Permitted horse dealers must comply with Department laws and regulations regarding record books and record keeping; purchases from private parties; purchases at markets or auctions; slaughter; import; and horse purchase for personal use.



Ensuring Humane Treatment of Retired Racehorses

New York State has enacted new provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law that prohibit the commercial slaughter of horses known to be racehorses or breeding stock. The legislation also amends the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law to require that racehorses in the State be microchipped, to modify both the term “New York-bred” and the eligibility requirements to be admitted to New York bred harness horse events to require that each mare, stallion, and foal be microchipped, and to authorize the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund Corporation and the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Corporation to utilize certain designated revenues to pay for racehorse aftercare. Further, the legislation amends the Tax Law to provide a check off box for taxpayer gifts for racehorse aftercare that do not reduce the taxpayer’s tax liability. Visit the document linked below to learn more.