New APHIS Website Helps Pet Owners and Veterinarians Navigate International Travel Requirements

August 1, 2016
Laurie Anne Walden, DVM, ELS

Dr. Walden received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from North Carolina State University. She is a practicing veterinarian and a certified editor in the life sciences (ELS). She owns Walden Medical Writing, LLC, and writes and edits materials for healthcare professionals and the general public.

The site also includes regulations for interstate travel within the United States.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture has launched a new pet travel website. The aim of the site is to make it easier for pet owners and veterinarians to find import and export requirements for specific countries. The site also includes regulations for interstate travel within the United States.

“APHIS’s previous site was designed for accredited veterinarians and other animal health professionals who were familiar with interpreting technical regulatory language,” writes the agency in a news release. “Because of this, hundreds of callers a month called APHIS seeking info on pet travel. The new site is specifically designed to be easy for anyone to use.”

The website’s section on pet export lists each country’s entry requirements as steps that include deadlines and links to international health certificates and permits. For example, selecting the UK entry for pet dogs leads to 6 steps that cover the timing of microchip implantation and rabies vaccination, the waiting period before entry, EU Health Certificate requirements, APHIS endorsement of paperwork, and timing of required tapeworm treatment. Following the link to the EU Health Certificate also brings up a link to dog breeds banned in the United Kingdom.

The section on bringing a pet into the United States includes general requirements for each species as well as regulations for travel from certain countries of origin (for example, for dogs traveling from areas affected with screwworm). This section also includes links to additional information from the US Centers for Disease Control and specific US states.

The website covers only pet animals: dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, hedgehogs, tenrecs, reptiles, amphibians, and pet birds. Import and export requirements for other animals are listed on the APHIS Animal Import and Export website.

The agency suggests that “travelers plan ahead and work closely with their APHIS accredited veterinarians to ensure their pets receive the correct vaccinations and treatments and that the necessary paperwork is completed and, when required, signed in advance of their departure date.”