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Immigration/Customs forms for reentry into the US after traveling abroad

Immigration/Customs forms for reentry into the US after traveling abroad

Old Oct 16th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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l3w
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Immigration/Customs forms for reentry into the US after traveling abroad

There is a question on the immigration/customs forms that you fill out prior to landing at your port of entry back in the US after traveling abroad, that asks if you have visited a farm or been in contact with farm animals while outside the country.
We will be in Europe and will possibly be taking a tour which includes a farm where horses are trained..
Does anyone know why this question is asked and if it will cause problems clearing Immigrations/Customs upon our return?
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Friends returning from Europe in 2001 during a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak were required to disinfect all of their footwear after answering "yes" to that question.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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What wtm said--we had the same experience.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 02:29 PM
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That's the reason.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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We've had to answer that questions "yes" upon returning from various overseas trips. We just make sure that we have cleaned our footwear very well (scrubbed soles to get rid of soil, etc.) before returning to the States. Customs officials will likely inspect your footwear and pass you or require further disinfecting. It's not a big deal, but will add some time to your re-entry process.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Yes, it matters - for the reason stated - and do answer honestly. You are liable to run into sniffer beagles at baggage/customs and they can easily sniff out any remaining animal scents.

Much better to tell in advance than be tracked down.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Another reason is that you may have got some small particles of a nitrogen based fertilizer on clothes or shoes.
You could easily come up positive for handling explosives.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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The fact that we do not have hoof and mouth disease in the US and Canada is a huge factor in our ability to export meat and meat products.

Infected animals -- anything with a cloven foot -- are usually shot and their bodies burned. In addition to the poor animals, it is economically disastrous for farmers and their communities. It spreads like crazy, even from unexpected things like touching farm equipment that has the virus on it.

It is not a place to cut corners when returning to his country: if you have been on a farm or around farm animals, report it.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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The only thing that happens when you check "yes" on these boxes is that you will be sent over to have an agricultural inspection. The inspector will ask you a few questions and then may (or may not) ask you to open your bags for a further inspection. There's no penalty for this, and you're allowed to visit farms outside the U.S. I wouldn't stress about this too much. It's always better to answer questions truthfully. If there's no issue, you should not be held up for more than a few minutes.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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Thank you for the responses. This will be helpful in determining tours that are offered.
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Old Oct 25th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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We checked yes to this a couple times - we were just asked some additional questions. Once was after a trip to the Netherlands where we went to a farm to see cheese making and visit with the cows, and another was in Bali where we went to a spice farm and to a rice farm.

BTW - My dad thinks it is hilarious when I visit farms on vacation. We come from a farming family and he always tells me that the reason my parents insisted that I go to college was so that I could get AWAY from farming - then I travel overseas and visit farms for fun...
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Old Oct 25th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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Hoof and mouth is NOT something to fool around with.

My father lied on a small family dairy farm when he was a child and there was an epidemic of hoof and mouth. Naturally all of the animals had to be destroyed and the replacements provided were your basic Elsie - not the prize-winning cows (gave huge amounts of very rich milk - so more mil and more cream) they had originally.

They ended up having to sell the farm - since it was no longer viable to support the family - and moved back to the City - to Queens where they bought and ran a Kosher chicken market (more profitable than a regular one).
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