NYS Ag & Markets Provides Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets released the following Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations in response to COVID-19 on March 22, 2020.

This guidance is provided for animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials and supplies, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed, and bedding, etc.; raising of animals; animal production operations; transportation of live animals, animal medical supplies; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; livestock markets, including live bird markets, slaughter and packing plants.

It also includes equine operations and companion animal/pet stores and shelters; veterinary services for equine, companion animal and other businesses considered essential; and related support/service operations.


On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the “PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all nonessential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. Essential businesses are exempt from this guidance.

Animal care operations, defined in the link below, have been deemed essential and are exempt.