Requirements for Swine Being Imported into Maine

pigs in fenced in area; photo by Edwin RemsbergDonald E. Hoenig, VMD, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry regulates the importation of livestock and poultry into the State. Visit the Regulations and Requirements on Animal Shipments page on the website for the Department’s import rules.

In the case of swine, the Department requires the following:

  • an import permit which can be obtained by calling 207.287.3701;
  • a certificate of veterinary inspection* dated within 30 days preceding importation;
  • permanent, individual identification; and
  • certain other requirements specific to the diseases brucellosis and pseudorabies.

Please note that there are no other disease-specific requirements for diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), porcine circovirus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), diseases which are quite widespread in the U.S. at this time. It’s incumbent upon you, the buyer, to educate yourself about these diseases by asking questions of the seller. In certain instances, there are relatively inexpensive blood screening tests which can be done prior to bringing new animals onto your farm. It’s always a good idea if at all possible, to request more information from the seller regarding the health status of swine on the farm of origin and to inquire about the existence of specific diseases or health concerns on that farm. Does the seller know the status of PRRS, circovirus, PEDv or any other disease on their farm? Have the animals recently been treated for parasites? Is the seller experiencing any breeding problems in their swine? Ethically, animal owners should provide full disclosure to the buyer, but people don’t always behave ethically, so remember the old axiom: let the buyer beware.

Another factor which must always be kept in mind is that a certificate of veterinary inspection is not a guarantee of health, but merely a statement indicating that, on the date the certificate was issued, the animals were not exhibiting signs of contagious, infectious or parasitic diseases, and that they originated from a particular farm and may have been tested for certain specific diseases.

*As of February 27, 2014, the State of Maine requires that the following statement be included on the certificate of veterinary inspection: To the best of my knowledge, swine represented on this certificate have not originated from premises known to be affected by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), and have not been exposed to PEDv within the last 30 days.