I crossed the border from Canada to WA with my horse a few weeks ago. We are required to have Coggins and health papers. I hauled my horse to the vet's to avoid farm call charges. It cost me just over $130 CAN for everything. There are Agriculture Canada charges and vet signature charges, courier charges, lab charges and veterinary charges... everyone has their hand in your pocket.
Since all this would not be required if the horse was being sold in Canada, I think it only fair that the buyer pick up the cost; especially considering the low cost of the horse. The seller would pick up the cost of a pre-vet exam if they wanted it after all.
----- Original Message -----
From: Heidi Smith
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 6:52 AM
To: Tamara Taylor; Ridecamp
Subject: Re: [RC] Coggins - Whose Responsibility?
> I have a serious US buyer for one of my horses in Canada. I realize that a
> Coggins test is required to haul the horse across the border. The hauling
> expenses are the responsibility of the buyer. Am I obligated to pay for
> coggins test? I am selling this horse for $800 US and last time I had
> done it was around $100 Canadian. Does this seem fair?
The folks who live in areas where testing is mandatory are right that where
they are, the Coggins should be the seller's responsibility. However, in
other parts of the country, where it is NOT mandatory except for crossing
state lines or the Canadian border, it is traditionally the buyer's
responsibility, as it is an expense of travel. I've paid for several as a
seller to make a particular sale go better, but then I've been on the
veterinary end of things where it is not much of an expense. The price you
quoted seems high for a Coggins test, though. The veterinarians here in
this area charge in the range of $20 to $25 US (I know the exchange rate is
bad, but not THAT bad), although I'm also appalled at what some vets in
Oregon and Washington are now charging. FWIW, the veterinarian's expenses
for a Coggins are in the neighborhood of $10 (lab fee and shipping fees),
and an organized veterinarian should be able to draw blood for the Coggins
and do the paperwork in about 5 to 10 minutes, so assuming an hourly
compensation appropriate for a professional (check out attorneys, etc., and
what they bill by the hour), a fee of $25 US is about what it should be
"worth," especially if staff members are doing some of the processing of
paperwork instead of the veterinarian. Travel to the farm would be extra.
Nonetheless, I've seen too many veterinarians take advantage of the fact
that horse owners are in a corner about getting Coggins tests, and that
rationalize that "horse people have money." <sigh>
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