The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing some changes to the 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.

Accredited veterinarians are private veterinarians who receive additional training and are authorized to complete specific tasks and paperwork on behalf of USDA. 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 USDA, our nation’s livestock and poultry producers, and our country’s pet owners.

USDA is accepting public comments on this proposed rule for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. Click here to view the proposed rule.