HEALTH CERTIFICATES FOR DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
For the convenience of our clients and pet owners, most of our veterinarians have fulfilled their USDA APHIS category II accreditation certification requirements allowing them to evaluate exotic animal pet species for health status, and complete relevant travel health certificates. Health certificates are generally required for interstate travel (by plane, vehicle, or other means) as well as travel to other countries.
BASIC HEALTH CERTIFICATE
A basic health certificate completed by one of our accredited veterinarians is generally adequate for domestic travel, although it is always worth confirming with your airline and/or the state to which you are traveling. To obtain a basic health certificate for your pet, a physical examination must be completed by one of our accredited veterinarians. Please call for an appointment and let us know that you need a basic health certificate for your pet. The exam must be completed within a certain number of days or weeks prior to the planned travel time – consult with your airline or the USDA website listed below for details.
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE/PAPERWORK
For international travel, every country has different, and often very complicated, requirements and paperwork. Most also require a basic health certificate co-signed by both an accredited veterinarian and a USDA veterinarian – see the discussion below for details on obtaining the USDA veterinarian’s signature. In order to facilitate international travel with your exotic pet, we ask that you begin to plan early, and carefully review the relevant information. Some countries require that physical examinations and certain disease testing be done a specified number of days, weeks, or months prior to travel. Others may require a specific quarantine period. Please visit the USDA website listed below for additional information. In some situations, it may be necessary to contact your destination country’s embassy in order to obtain more specific instructions on import of exotic animal species. We ask that you look up this information and obtain all necessary paperwork prior to your pet’s appointment. Please note that it may be worthwhile looking up import regulations for the United States if you plan to return with your pet in the future, as some animals are not allowed back into the country after export.
For domestic and international travel with your exotic animal pet, please visit the following website for detailed information, specific paperwork, and appropriate planning well before your veterinary appointment and planned travel time: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel. For more specific information and questions regarding specific species and/or destinations you may also e-mail the USDA directly at VSPSNY@aphis.usda.gov or VSPSVA@aphis.usda.gov.
USDA VETERINARIAN’S SIGNATURE
In certain situations (including international travel), you may be required to have your pet’s basic health certificate co-signed by a USDA veterinarian. Please be sure to schedule your pet’s health certificate physical exam appointment with sufficient time to allow for completion of this process. After your pet has its exam with one of our accredited veterinarians, the USDA veterinarian’s signature can be obtained by sending the health certificate, any supporting documents, and payment to the Service Center in Albany, NY, using overnight shipping:
USDA, APHIS, VS-Exports
500 New Karner, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12205
In certain situations, you may also be able to obtain the signature by appointment only at the USDA’s Richmond office. Please call (804) 343-2567 for additional information.
PET TRAVEL AGENCIES
Due to the challenges of traveling with your pet, especially overseas, there are now pet travel agencies that offer the service of helping to move your pet to the new location/destination for a fee. They generally assist with paperwork and obtaining appropriate documents/permits, transport to and from airports, etc. There is no one travel agency that we endorse or recommend, however online searches may provide some options.