Memorial Day safe travelsDon’t forget to buckle up your furry pals when climbing in for the long ride.

 

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This list of links to airline pet policies is provided as a courtesy for travelers wishing to take their pets on airline flights and does not constitute endorsement or imply preference by the US Department of Agriculture.

Always contact your airline or travel agent before arriving at the airport to determine your airline’s policy on traveling with pets.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows each airline to decide if they will allow you to travel with your pet in the passenger cabin. If an airline does allow you to bring your pet into the cabin, your pet container is considered to be carry-on baggage and you must follow all carry on baggage rules. Also, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security screening procedures do not prohibit you from bringing a pet on your flight. If you are planning to bring an animal on-board the plane with you, you will need to present the animal to the security checkpoint screeners for screening. You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection.

If you are taking a pet to another country, contact that country’s consulate or embassy for information about any requirements that you must meet. A listing of consulates is found at the US Department of State web site.

The web site of USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides additional information about taking your pet to a foreign country.



SAS 





Updated May-07-2015

 

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Are you traveling to the U.S. from another county and bringing your pet? Following are tips from the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:

Other government entities regulate the import of pets into the United States in certain circumstances and should be contacted.

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Pet Containers and Airline Information

Airlines have various animal transport rules. Please check with your airline well in advance of travel.

Contact Information

 

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Following is information on pets in the passenger cabin from the Federal Aviation Administration:

Are there any airlines that do not allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin?
Some airlines do not allow any pets to travel in the cabin. You can call the airline you are traveling on to find out if they allow pets in the passenger cabin.

Can I be sure that there will be no animals on my flight if an airline does not allow pets in the cabin?
No, you can’t be sure. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has rules (14 CFR part 382) (PDF) that require airlines to allow passengers to fly with their service animals in the cabin on all U.S. airlines. Service animals are not pets. They are working animals that assist persons with disabilities. There is no limit to the number of service animals that can be on any flight. Service animals do not need any health certificates to travel and they do not need to be confined in a container or cage.

How do I find out if an airline allows pets to travel in the passenger cabin and what their policies and procedures are?
You can find out what the specific policies and procedures are for each airline in several ways. You can call the airline’s reservations line and get information from the agent who takes your call. You can also look at an airline’s website to get information about their policies for traveling with pets.

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I have severe allergies to pet dander. How can I be sure that there is no pet dander on my flight?
You will still be exposed to pet dander on every flight, even without any pets in the passenger cabin. This is because most allergens are carried into the cabin on the clothes of other passengers.

Then what should I do if I am allergic to pet dander, but I need to fly?
First, you can reduce the chance that there will be an animal in the cabin on your flight. You can fly on an airline that does not allow pets in the cabin. You can also ask the reservations agent for your airline if another passenger on the same flight has made reservations to travel with a pet. You should also check with your allergist or doctor before your trip to discuss travel related risks and ask if you should carry medications with you. If a reaction should occur during the flight, follow your doctor’s treatment instructions and ask a flight attendant for assistance.

What are the FAA rules regarding traveling with pets in the passenger cabin?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows each airline to decide if they will allow you to travel with your pet in the passenger cabin. If an airline does allow you to bring your pet into the cabin, we consider your pet container to be carry-on baggage and you must follow all carry on baggage rules (14 CFR part 121, section 121.589):

  • Your pet container must be small enough to fit underneath the seat without blocking any person’s path to the main aisle of the airplane.
  • Your pet container must be stowed properly before the last passenger entry door to the airplane is closed in order for the airplane to leave the gate.
  • Your pet container must remain properly stowed the entire time the airplane is moving on the airport surface, and for take off and landing.
  • You must follow flight attendant instructions regarding the proper stowage of your pet container.

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What kind of general procedures do most airlines have in place?
If an airline allows you to travel with your pet in the cabin, you must follow all FAA regulations. Usually, most airlines have additional policies and procedures for you to follow to make sure that the flight is comfortable for all passengers on the airplane. These additional procedures may include

  • A limited list of the types of pets that you can bring into the cabin
  • A limit on the number of pets in the cabin
  • A limit on the number of pets that may accompany you on the airplane
  • A requirement that your pet be harmless, inoffensive and odorless
  • A requirement that your pet remain in the container for the entire flight
  • A requirement that you be able to produce a recently issued health certificate for your pet

Where can I go to get more information about traveling with pets in the passenger cabin?
You can get more information about traveling with your pet from the following:

 

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by The Wisconsin Humane Society

While there is some concern that giving your cat a taste of the great outdoors will turn him into a demanding puss who sits by the door meowing incessantly to go out, many feline experts believe that the greater danger lies in providing a living environment for the cat that is unchanging and unstimulating—just plain boring. The stress of boredom can be a contributing factor in a number of destructive behavior problems (e.g., furniture scratching) as well as in some physical and psychological problems (e.g., obesity, over-grooming, feline depression). While much can be done to make the home environment more interesting for the cat, nothing can compare to the excitement of the ever-changing outdoors.

Of course, allowing your cat to roam outside freely would be irresponsible. Unsupervised, your cat faces the very real dangers of road traffic, irate neighbors, disease and other predatory animals. Leash training can add a new dimension to both of your lives. Cats look forward to their outings just as much as dogs enjoy their walks. If taken out at approximately the same time every day, your cat will learn that this is the only time he can go out and there’s no point in pestering you at other times.

It’s always easiest to introduce new experiences to kittens who tend to view life as a big adventure. However, even older cats can be trained to accept a harness and leash if you are patient, persistent and sensitive to the cat’s body language. Each small step of progress toward the ultimate goal is rewarded with praise and food treats. At no time should the cat be punished or scolded. It may take weeks of conditioning for the adult cat to feel comfortable with this procedure, but the result is well worth the effort.

A strong advocate for leash training your cat, Warren Eckstein, devotes 15 pages to this subject in his wonderfully entertaining and instructive book, “How to Get Your Cat to Do What You Want.” Here is a brief summary of the steps involved in training your cat to walk on a leash:

Step 1. Purchase a harness that is designed to pull from the chest, not from the throat. A harness is preferable to a collar because if properly fitted, it will provide less opportunity for your cat to wriggle out of it. You should be able to slip two fingers between the harness and the cat. If it is too loose, the little escape artist will be out of it in no time. The leash should be lightweight and detachable and have a clip that closes tightly. We do not recommend “figure eight” style harnesses, as these can pinch and make the harness uncomfortable. Instead, the preferred design is an “H-style” design, with two independently adjustable loops connected by a third piece of material. SmartCat has a comfortable and easily adjustable harness.

Step 2. Let your cat get used to the harness and leash by leaving them near his favorite sleeping place for a few days. The training process begins in the home. Before placing the harness on the cat, prepare your cat’s favorite meal, something so delectable that it makes him forget about everything else. Immediately after placing the harness on him, put the food in front of him. Praise him profusely. After he is finished eating, let him walk around for awhile. Distract him with toys, if he seems unhappy with the harness. After he has visibly relaxed, the harness can be removed.

Step 3. Attach the leash to the harness. Don’t try to walk at this point, just let him walk where he pleases, dragging the leash behind him. Always supervise these sessions in case the leash gets caught on something. Most cats will accept the addition of the leash readily, but if yours becomes agitated, divert his attention, as before. Encourage the cat to walk and when he does, shower him with praise. Keep these daily training sessions short and positive.

Step 4. Once your cat is at ease with the harness and leash, pick up the leash and walk around the house behind him, being careful to keep the lead slack. At this point you do not want to restrict the cat’s movement, just let him get used to having you follow him. Practice this for a few days.

Step 5. Now its time to direct the cat. Using a sweet, high-pitched voice, encourage him to follow you. (Kittens have a natural follow-Mom response.) Don’t expect him to walk like a dog. Allow your cat to wander from side to side within the confines of the length of the leash, but do not veer off your predetermined course. When the cat feels resistance, he will either walk in your direction or lie down. Patience and persuasion are the key words here. Never pull or jerk the lead to force your cat back in line. One bad experience may turn your cat against leash training forever.

Step 6. Once the cat is walking comfortably on the leash inside, you can introduce him to the outdoors. It may be best to simply sit with the cat on the stoop outside for the first few jaunts. Let him become used to the sights and sounds of this new and somewhat scary world. You’ll know when your cat has adapted to this new environment. He will look relaxed, nervous tail twitching will stop and he will show an interest in exploring. Let him. Now find a quiet location that will present as few frightening elements as possible and follow the same procedure you used to accustom him to walking on a leash indoors. (Remember, never leave the cat outside unattended.)

Now your feline friend can join you for walks around the neighborhood, picnics, even window-shopping. Trips away from home (e.g. the vet) will also be easier for you and less traumatic for your cat.

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This article was previously published on Pet Travel Experts blog in 2012. Please consider making a donation to The Wisconsin Humane Society at http://www.wihumane.org/donate

The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community where people value animals and treat them with respect and kindness. WHS is one of the oldest humane societies in the nation and the largest in the state, annually caring for 20,000 domestic and wild animals. WHS also offers programs and services to thousands of residents in the community. The organization is recognized by Charity Navigator, the nation’s leading charity watchdog group, as a 4-star charity, its highest rating.

 

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from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Taking your faithful pooch or kitty on a flight?

Make sure you’ve got your pet’s paperwork wherever you go—and bring it back with you, too.

  • The United States expects the same documents regardless of whether your pet is a first-time traveler to the United States or is a returning from an international trip.

First stop—your vet’s office

Tell your veterinarian about your travel plans as soon as possible. Your pet will need veterinary appointments and paperwork completed before travel. Some countries require blood tests at least 6 months before departure to prove that your pet is vaccinated against rabies.

Warning: If the destination country’s requirements are not met, your pet may be detained or quarantined upon arrival.

Your veterinarian will be the best resource to figure out travel requirements for your destination:

  • Blood tests
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchips for identification
  • Health certificates or “Certificates of Veterinary Inspection,” often required by airlines and the destination countries

Preparing to fly with your furry friend

Consider how your pet will travel:

  • Carried on and placed under your seat
  • Checked-in as baggage
  • Shipped as cargo

 

Pets are handled differently depending on how they travel. Only small dogs and cats are allowed in the cabin. Pets traveling in the cabin must be stowed in special carriers under the seat and be cared for by their owners during any layovers. Dogs and cats traveling in baggage and cargo must travel in sturdy containers with enough room to turn around normally while standing, to stand and sit, and to lie in a natural position. Pets being checked as baggage or cargo will travel in a quiet and pressurized part of the airplane, which may actually be less stressful than riding in the busy cabin. Depending on the airline, pet owners may have to use time during layovers to care for pets checked as baggage, while pets traveling in cargo are often cared for by airline staff or ground handlers.

Check with your airline about their rules for pets, such as how many pets are allowed in the cabin and what types of breeds they allow. Also check on rules for long flights. For example, many overseas flights don’t allow pets as carry-ons. In addition, most airlines have rules about the time of day or year they will accept pets as baggage or cargo. The International Air Transport Association offers detailed information for shipping petsExternal Web Site Icon.

Consider your pet’s comfort

Loading and unloading can be the most stressful part of travel for animals, so consider the following:

  • Purchase flights with fewer layovers.
  • Pick departure and arrival times to avoid extreme heat or cold. For example, planning a night-time arrival to a hot destination may be better for your pet.
  • Leave sedatives at home. The International Air Transport Association discourages the use of sedatives or tranquilizers in animals traveling because they could cause harm to the animal while in flight. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your pets something to make them sleep easier on a trip.
  • Feed your pet a light meal 2 hours before getting to the airport
  • Walk your pet before leaving home and again before checking in.

Requirements for Dogs Arriving in the United States

The United States requires that dogs are healthy and have an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian.* A veterinary examination before travel will tell you if your pet is healthy enough to travel and if he or she is free of any contagious diseases. Some important things to remember:

  • Some states may require other vaccinations and health certificates. (Check with your state health department before you leave.)
  • Certain breeds are restricted by some cities or states. (Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are frequently restricted.)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires additional screening for shepherding dogs and dogs coming from a country with screwworm. Collies, shepherds, and other dogs from certain countries that are used to herd livestock must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry until they are declared free from tapeworms.  Screwworm is a pest that can be destructive to U.S. agriculture and can be carried into the country by dogs. Visit USDA for more information about requirements for shepherding dogs and screwworm.External Web Site Icon

What if your pet meows instead of barks? Cats don’t need rabies vaccinations to enter the United States. However, certain states and many countries require them. Be sure to ask your veterinarian before leaving.

*Rabies vaccination is not required to enter the United States if your dog has been in a rabies-free countryExternal Web Site Icon for at least 6 months prior to traveling.

Other Pets

If your companion animal is not a cat or dog, it may fall under an entirely separate set of regulations. For example, baby turtles don’t get rabies and don’t need any vaccinations. However, you cannot bring in more than 6 small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches) into the United States.

Illness or Death of a Pet during Travel

Although we don’t like to think about it, sometimes pets become ill or even die while in flight. As if dealing with severe illness or death of your furry companion wouldn’t be enough, travelers in this situation have to deal with a few government requirements as well. Public health officials are required to make sure that your pet did not die of a contagious disease that could infect people. This might involve a necropsy (animal autopsy) or other tests, at your cost, to determine the cause of death. Unfortunately, in many instances the animal’s remains cannot be returned to you after this testing.

It is very important to know that your pet is healthy enough to travel by air. If there is any doubt, consider leaving your pet with a trusted friend, family member, or boarding kennel during your trip, or think about taking another mode of transportation if possible.

The bottom line: find out as much as you can in advance. If in doubt, prepare for the unexpected.

Consider the case of a couple vacationing in Italy, whose cat got out and fought with a stray just before their return to the United States. The cat was bitten by the stray, but because it had been vaccinated for rabies and its owners had the paperwork handy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was able to clear the cat for entry immediately. The cat’s veterinarian at home was able to treat the wound without delay, and the cat is now doing just fine after its adventures abroad.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDC′s Mission is to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health–through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

 

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You help decide and you could win a FANTASTIC pet traveler prize package! Enter GoPetFriendly.coms 2015 Best City for Pet Travelers Tournament at http://bit.ly/1GjFbmm

 

Dogs may naturally wear fur coats, but they do indeed feel cold as temperatures drop. Pet owners need to know when it is time to bring a dog indoors. Dr. Andy Roark explains when is when in his humorous, educational YouTube show for pet owners, “Cone of Shame.”

 
White cockatoo (Cacatua alba) - photo by Amy Evenstad CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

White cockatoo (Cacatua alba) – photo by Amy Evenstad CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Before You Make Travel Plans

You will need to select a Designated Port and apply for and obtain necessary permits and authorizations from the United States and the foreign country prior to firming up your travel plans. The permit application processing time averages 60 days and there is not a means to expedite applications; be sure to plan ahead!

Crossing the United States Border with Your Pet Bird:  Inspections at a Designated Port

All wildlife imported or exported from the U.S. for any purpose must be inspected by a Wildlife Inspector from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement prior to import or export (including species not listed under CITES or WBCA). Wildlife Inspectors are stationed at offices called “Designated Ports” at certain border crossings and airports to perform these inspections by appointment. Review the list of Designated Ports prior to arranging your travel plans or applying for a permit (see http://www.fws.gov/le/ports-contact-information.html). If you are unable to travel through a Designated Port, you may apply for a Designated Port Exception Permit by submitting application form 3-200-2, available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-2.pdf. A Designated Port Exception Permit authorizes an inspection, by appointment, at another border crossing. When you later apply for a permit to import/export your pet, report the Designated Port you select on your application form, or submit a copy of your Designated Port Exception Permit.

Once you have obtained all necessary permits and authorizations and are ready to travel, contact the Wildlife Inspector at the appropriate Port at least 72 hours in advance to make an appointment for the inspection and clearance of your pet. Complete a Declaration Form 3-177 prior to your appointment (http://www.fws.gov/le/declaration-form-3-177.html). At the appointment you will present your pet, your permits, the Declaration form 3-177, and any other required documentation for inspection. Contact a Wildlife Inspector to discuss questions about this process (see http://www.fws.gov/le/ports-contact-information.html).

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA – APHIS)

Contact USDA-APHIS to determine their quarantine and health certificate requirements for import and export; visit their website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/importexport or call the National Import Export Services (NIES) Call Center: 301-851-3300.

CITES/ WBCA/ ESA Permits: What Type of Permit Do I Need, and How Do I Apply? 

The Service issued regulations implementing CITES, the WBCA, and the ESA that provide for permits to allow the export and/or import of certain pet birds. The Service’s Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits processes applications for several different permit types, depending on the activity. The Branch of Permits will review a complete application to ensure your pet and the proposed activity meets the criteria for a permit. The Branch of Permits may issue one permit document with multiple authorizations under more than one law if your pet is listed under both CITES and WBCA. Permit application processing time averages 60 days. There is not a means to expedite applications, so be sure to plan ahead.

Review the permit types below; if you are unsure about what permit type applies to your pet bird or your activities, contact the Service’s Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, at managementauthority@fws.gov or 1-800-358-2104.

WBCA/ CITES Single Use Import Permit:  This permit type authorizes a single border crossing into the United States under the WBCA (and CITES for Appendix I species) and remains valid for one year. It is appropriate if you are moving your household into the United States or are visiting the United States for a single trip.

The WBCA restricts the import of listed species, which may only be imported as a personally owned pet of an individual who is returning to the United States after being continuously out of the country for a minimum of one year. An individual may not import more than 2 birds in any year. If you meet these criteria, obtain a CITES Export permit from the foreign country, then submit application form 3-200-46 (available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-46.pdf) and the processing fee to the Service (instructions are available on the application form). You may apply for up to two pet birds in one year (both birds may be listed on the same application). Review the application form to determine what information the Service needs to make a permit issuance determination.

CITES/ WBCA Single Use Export Permit:  This permit type authorizes a single border crossing out of the United States under CITES and also includes a re-import authorization under the WBCA. The one-time CITES authorization remains valid for six months, but as long as you maintain a copy of the cleared permit the one-time WBCA re-import authorization will not expire and may be used at a later date. This permit type is appropriate if you are moving your household out of the United States or are taking a single trip out of the United States. You may apply for multiple birds on the same application. There are no restrictions on the length of time you may travel abroad or on the number of birds you may take with you.

Submit application form 3-200-46 (available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-46.pdf) and the processing fee to the Service (instructions are available on the application form). Review the application form to determine what information the Service needs to make a permit issuance determination. If your pet bird is listed under CITES Appendix I, you will first need to obtain a CITES import permit from the foreign country.

CITES/ WBCA Pet Passport:  This permit type is for U.S. Residents and authorizes multiple border crossings out of and back into the United States under CITES and the WBCA; it remains valid for three years. The pet passport is appropriate for individuals that intend to travel frequently from the United States with their pet bird, such as to and from Canada.

Submit application 3-200-64 (available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-64.pdf) and the processing fee to the Service (instructions are available on the form). Only one bird may be listed on a pet passport; submit a separate application for each pet bird. Review the application form to determine what information the Service needs to make a permit issuance determination.

WBCA/ CITES 3 Year Multiple Use Import Permit:  This permit type is for residents of foreign countries who have a pet passport from their home country and authorizes multiple imports under the WBCA (and CITES for Appendix I species).
Submit application form 3-200-46 (available from http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-46.pdf) and the processing fee to the Service (instructions are available on the application form). Under the WBCA, an individual can only import two birds per year; you may apply for up to two birds on one application. Review the application form to determine what information the Service needs to make a permit issuance determination. You will first need to obtain a CITES pet passport from the foreign country and submit a copy of the passport with your application.

ESA Listed Species:  Additional restrictions may apply for endangered or threatened species. For details on allowable activities with species listed under the Endangered Species Act, visit the Endangered Species Program’s parrot FAQ page: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/pdf/FAQs_Listed_Parrots_06242014_FINAL.pdf

Foreign Country Requirements
Be sure to check with the countries you are traveling to for their requirements. Import or export permits may be required under CITES, and other countries also have domestic laws and quarantine requirements for the import and export of protected wildlife. Contact information for foreign country CITES Offices is available at the CITES website:  http://www.cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp.

Entering the United States with your Pet Bird after Living Abroad:  Reminders

If your pet bird was acquired outside the United States and you have resided outside the United States constantly for 1 year, you may import a maximum of two pet birds per person, per year. To ensure that you will be allowed to bring your pet bird into the United States, remember to take the following steps prior to firming up your travel plans (see above for details):

  1. Obtain documented evidence that you have resided outside the United States continuously for a minimum of 1 year.
  2. Obtain documented evidence that each bird was acquired legally.
  3. Select a Designated Port for wildlife import/ export (or if not using a Designated Port, submit application form 3-200-2 to apply for a Designated Port Exception); you will report this on permit application forms and this may influence your travel plans.
  4. Apply for CITES permits or other authorizations from the foreign country.
  5. Apply for a permit from the Service’s Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits. Instructions are on the application form. Applications must be received at least 60 days in advance of anticipated travel.
  6. Discuss import/ export requirements with USDA- APHIS.
  7. Complete a Declaration Form 3-177 and arrange a clearance inspection at a Designated Port at least 72 hours prior to your anticipated travel. At the clearance appointment, have your CITES/ WBCA permit(s) validated by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Inspector. Ask for copies of cleared and validated documentation, and keep them in a permanent file. Copies of documentation will be required if you wish apply for a permit to travel with your pet in the future.

Leaving the United States with Your Pet Bird:  Reminders

To ensure that you will be allowed to bring your pet bird back into the United States from travel abroad, remember to take the following steps prior to firming up your travel plans (see above for details):

  1. Obtain documented evidence that each bird was acquired legally.
  2. Select a Designated Port for wildlife import/ export (or if not using a Designated Port, submit application form 3-200-2 to apply for a Designated Port Exception); you will report this on permit application forms and this may influence your travel plans.
  3. Apply for CITES permits or other authorizations from the foreign country.
  4. Apply for a permit from the Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits. Instructions are on the application form. Applications must be received at least 60 days in advance of anticipated travel.
  5. Discuss import/ export requirements with USDA- APHIS.
  6. Complete a Declaration Form 3-177 and arrange a clearance inspection at a Designated Port at least 72 hours prior to your anticipated travel. At the clearance appointment, have your CITES/ WBCA permit(s) validated by a Wildlife Inspector before you leave the United States. Ask for copies of cleared and validated documentation, and keep them in a permanent file. Copies of documentation will be required if you wish apply for a permit to travel with your pet in the future.
  7. Take a copy of your validated permit with you. The CITES Export permit may include a WBCA re-imort authorization. This copy must be presented when you re-enter the United States with your pet.

Approved (WBCA Import Authorization Exempt) Captive-Bred Species (listed at 50 CFR 15.33)

Note: The WBCA restricts the number of pet birds individuals may import into the United States annually.  However, if your bird is one of the approved captive-bred species found in the chart here, you do not need a WBCA permit to import your pet (CITES and ESA permit requirements still apply).

Applications and Additional Information

Permit applications (Form 3-200) and any other information you may need are available from the Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits website http://www.fws.gov/international/permits/. Contact the Branch of Permits with questions at 1-800-358-2104/ Fax 703.358.2281 or managementauthority@fws.gov.

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Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – International Affairs Program

 

Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) security procedures do not prohibit you from bringing a pet on your flight. You should contact your airline or travel agent, however, before arriving at the airport to determine your airline’s policy on traveling with pets.

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Documentation

  • No special documentation is required for traveling with a pet.

Security Screening

  • You will need to present the animal to the Security Officers at the checkpoint.
  • Remove all animals from their carrying cases and send the case through the X-ray machine.
  • You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by our Security Officers.
  • Your animal will NEVER be placed through an X-ray machine. However, you may be asked to remove your animal from its carrier so that the carrier can be placed on the X-Ray machine.

Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

General

  • If you have a service animal, you are encouraged to inform the Security Officer that the animal accompanying you is a service animal and not a pet. This will provide you with an opportunity to move to the front of the screening line since the Security Officer may need to spend more time with you.
  • It is recommended that persons using an animal for assistance carry appropriate identification. Identification may include: cards or documentation, presence of a harness or markings on the harness, or other credible assurance of the passenger using the animal for their disability.
  • At no time during the screening process will you be required to be separated from your service animal.
  • Security Officers have been trained not to communicate, distract, interact, play, feed, or pet service animals.
  • The Security Officer should ask permission before touching your service animal or its belongings.You must assist with the inspection process by controlling the service animal while the Security Officer conducts the inspection. You are required to maintain control of the animal in a manner that ensures the animal cannot harm the Security Officer.
  • If you need to leave the secure boarding area to relieve your animal, you must undergo the full screening process again. Inform the Security Officer upon your return to the security checkpoint and she/him will move you to the front of the screening line to expedite the screening process.

Service Dogs

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  • Advise the Security Officer how you and your dog can best achieve screening when going through the metal detector as a team (i.e., whether walking together or with the service dog walking in front of or behind you).
  • If the walk through metal detector alarms in the situation where you and your service dog have walked together, both you and the dog must undergo additional screening.
  • If the walk through metal detector alarms on either you or your service dog individually (because you walked through separately), additional screening must be conducted on whoever alarmed the walk through metal detector.
  • If your service dog alarms the walk through metal detector, the Security Officer will ask your permission and assistance before they touch you service dog and its belongings. The Security Officer will then perform a physical inspection of your dog and its belongings (collar, harness, leash, backpack, vest, etc.) The belongings will not be removed from your dog at any time.

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Source: Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)