Kentucky Proud

Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian


Office of State Veterinarian

  • Protect the health and welfare of Kentucky's livestock, poultry and agricultural industries
  • Promote an environment that enhances the economic and recreational opportunities and prosperity of Kentucky agriculture






***Online Permitting - NOW AVAILABLE***

Accredited Veterinarians and Office Staff can now obtain movement permits online 24/7.
CLICK HERE to be directed to the Online Permitting System.

General Entry Requirements

Special Entry Requirements

  • Please call our office at 502-564-3956 before shipping livestock from the following states:
    California, Michigan, or Texas

Equine Entry Requirements and Current Restrictions

Hawthorne Race Course (Illinois) - Status Updated 02/26/13

Based information received from the Illinois Racing Commission veterinarian having regulatory oversight and health monitoring responsibility of the equine population at Hawthorne Race Course, we are beginning the process of ‘rescinding’ the requirements that horses entering KY from IL be accompanied with an Entry Permit issued by the KY State Veterinarians Office and that horses originating from, or having recently been on Hawthorne to be tested for EHV-1 to qualify for entry into Kentucky.


Information received from Dr. Dawn Folker includes:

1) The last case of EHV-1 was reported and the animal placed in isolation on December 23,2012.

2) Racing at Hawthorne has resumed with strict entrance requirements being met and verified by onsite personnel.

3) Heightened biosecurity and health monitoring is apparent on backside and includes regular interaction with veterinarians practicing at Hawthorne.


Effective Friday, March 1 – Horses originating from Illinois (to include horses from Hawthorne) will be eligible to enter Kentucky by meeting the normal entry requirements consisting of a valid Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and EIA Testing.  In addition to the routine interstate entry requirements, all horses moving onto Kentucky tracks are required to fully comply with additional requirements which include EHV vaccination and additional health certifications.  Prior to shipping horses to a KY race track or training facility, and to avoid unnecessary delay; horsemen should check the track’s equine entry and stabling requirements prior to shipping.


Update 01/03/13

The Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian (OSV) continues to monitor an outbreak of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy affecting horses at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois.  Recent media reports state a horse in Hawthorne’s Barn 6 developed a fever during the last week of December and subsequently tested PCR positive for Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1).  The animal’s illness and associated diagnostic testing provide evidence that transmissible EHV-1 likely continues to be prevalent in the Hawthorne environment.  This evidence and threat of transmission of the causative agent, coupled with environmental and epidemiological factors, has lead Kentucky State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout  to conclude that horses currently or recently stabled at Hawthorne pose a significant risk of exposure to this highly communicable disease.   Kentucky Administrative Regulations governing the entry of horses into the Commonwealth prohibits the entry of equine having known exposure to a communicable disease. Therefore, horses currently stabled and horses stabled during the past 30 days at Hawthorne are ineligible for traveling interstate into Kentucky without approval from Kentucky Department of Agriculture. 


Additionally, with the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s previously imposed quarantine scheduled for  release next week (January 9, 2013), effective immediately, the KY OSV requires that all horses seeking entry into Kentucky from Illinois be approved  by the KY State Veterinarian’s Office.  The required entry permit  should be applied for by the attending veterinarian in writing (fax to 502/564-7852) and must include each animal’s name, age, sex, breed, origin, destination, defined purpose of entry, and the IL Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) document number that will be issued. The request must also include a statement that the horse(s) has not been on Hawthorne’s grounds during the preceding 30 days.  Upon approval, the KY Entry Permit Number should be recorded on the CVI and a copy of the permit attached to the CVI during transportation.

Furthermore, due to the identified threat and elevated risk to our racing population, the KY OSV directive to Kentucky’s race tracks and training centers continues to be horses  that have been at Hawthorne during the fall meet should be denied  entry onto any Kentucky track or training center with exception given only to those horses that have completed a supervised quarantine off the grounds, have  tested negative for EHV-1 and have been released from restrictions imposed by the Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian.  In these instances, the facility’s management, stabling office or racing secretary should have supporting documentation that the routine entry requirements and vaccination requirements have been met. For those horses completing their post departure quarantine outside of Kentucky, we recommend that each animal be considered individually.  We will be happy to assist in reviewing each animal’s health status and eligibility for entry if desired.


In Summary:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY – ALL HORSES ENTERING KENTUCKY FROM ILLINOIS MUST HAVE AN ENTRY PERMIT ISSUED BY THE KY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.  The permit request shall be in writing (fax to 502/564-7852) and include all pertinent information.  Our goal will be to receive, review, determine eligibility, and to approve or deny the request by the first workday following receipt.


HORSES CURRENTLYOR RECENTLY STABLED AT HAWTHORNE SHALL NOT BE GRANTED ACCESS TO KENTUCKY RACE TRACKS (or Training Centers) – Unless specifically With exception of horses approved by the Kentucky State Veterinarian.


These restrictions and directives will remain in effect until further notice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Update 10/29/12 - Based on the most recent data and information, the opinion of the KY State Veterinarians Office continues to be that horses residing at Hawthorne – or horses that have recently been on those grounds, do present an elevated risk of disease introduction/transmission. With this conclusion, we are continuing to disallow any horse from entering a Kentucky race track that originates from Hawthorne (horses are now not being permitted to depart the grounds) or horses which have been on the grounds of Hawthorne for any reason (racing, training, laying over etc.) during the 28 days immediately preceding their arrival at a Kentucky track.

We are aware and have been monitoring horses that had departed Hawthorne for KY tracks prior to the restriction disallowing their entry being implemented on Monday, October 15 with no evidence of illness having been detected in these horses and they are permitted entry. Horses in this same category traveling to private farms should be isolated and closely monitored for a minimum of 28 days.

Additionally, tracks need to take extra precautions to insure that all horses coming onto their grounds meet the health requirements prescribed by the Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian and to also inquire from the trainer responsible for the horses what their recent travel history has been.
This is an evolving disease outbreak with dynamic factors that necessitate our full awareness. With our mitigating strategies employed to protect Kentucky's racing industry adjusted as warranted, individuals shipping to KY race tracks should check with the track prior to shipping for the most recent entry requirements.

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Contact the USDA

  • The USDA Import Number (Animals coming into Kentucky from another country) is 301-851-3300.  The email address is:
  • For information on exporting animals out of the country contact USDA Veterinary Services
    at 502-848-2040.
  • The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)

    The VMLRP will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a NIFA designated veterinarian shortage situations for a period of three years.

    The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Office of the State Veterinarian is requested in the early part of each year to make the shortage area nominations for the State and to designate the type of shortage (Type I, Type II or Type III) for each area. These nominations are reviewed by the NIFA program and all or a portion of the areas will be approved and posted on the NIFA site listed above. Once the areas are designated veterinarians make application directly to NIFA to fill one of the designated areas. There are specific deadlines for applications that are listed on the NIFA site each year.