EQUUS - - Medical Front -

With the open­ing of new on-site quar­an­tine fa­cil­i­ties at New York’s John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port (JFK), com­fort­able stalls rather than long trailer rides await horses ar­riv­ing in the United States.

The Ark at JFK is a 14.4acre, $65 mil­lion fa­cil­ity pro­vid­ing on-site, travel-re­lated ser­vices for large and small an­i­mals at JFK. Ear­lier this year, the Ark opened the Pet Oa­sis, a pre- and post-flight hold­ing fa­cil­ity for small an­i­mals, along with the Equine Ex­port Cen­ter, a rest and in­spec­tion area for horses be­ing pre­pared for flights out of the coun­try.

Pre­vi­ously, horses ar­riv­ing in the United States through JFK were trans­ported to a sep­a­rate fa­cil­ity 90 miles away in up­state New York to ful­fill United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) quar­an­tine re­quire­ments. “The ARK at JFK’s quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the stress ex­pe­ri­enced by horses be­ing un­loaded on the air­side ramp, hav­ing their blood drawn and trans­ferred to a trailer for an ad­di­tional two hours of travel to New­burgh,” says El­iz­a­beth A. Schuette, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The Ark. “At our fa­cil­ity, the horses are im­me­di­ately eval­u­ated and ac­com­mo­dated in com­fort­able stalls.”

Schuette es­ti­mates about 3,000 to 4,000 horses will ar­rive and depart from JFK each year. Other USDAap­proved im­port quar­an­tine fa­cil­i­ties in the United States are in Mi­ami and Los An­ge­les. Most im­ported horses are quar­an­tined for three to seven days, de­pend­ing on their point of ori­gin. “[The quar­an­tine pe­riod de­pends] on the orig­i­nat­ing coun­try’s cur­rent dis­ease sta­tus. This is mon­i­tored and de­ter­mined by USDA-APHIS,” says Schuette.

Dur­ing their stay, horses will be housed in one of 48 cli­mate-con­trolled stalls with biose­cu­rity mea­sures de­signed with the help of Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. Grooms to tend to the horses and se­cu­rity are on-site around the clock, and vet­eri­nary ser­vices are con­tin­u­ally avail­able. “Our goal is to cre­ate a more ef­fi­cient and safe process by re­duc­ing the need for ad­di­tional travel and of­fer­ing trained an­i­mal-care staff im­me­di­ately pre- and post­flight,” says Schuette.

An artist’s ren­der­ing of ex­port stalls at The Ark at John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port in New York City.

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