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International Pet Travel

International pet travel can be heavily restricted and requires a great deal of advance planning. Requirements vary by destination as well as by type of pet. For the most up-to-date information about requirements for bringing your pet to a foreign country, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as that country's consulate or embassy, well in advance of your travel. If your international travel involves flying, verify with the airlines any restrictions they may have. A few examples of requirements of international pet travel are outlined below.

All countries in the European Union require cats, dogs and ferrets entering EU countries to have a tattoo or microchip implant. The number on the tattoo or chip must match the identification number on their vaccination record. Pets without a microchip or tattoo cannot enter European Union nations. Pets being brought into the United Kingdom must meet the terms of the UK Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) in order to be exempt from a mandatory 6-month quarantine period. In order to meet the terms of the PETS program, pets must have at least the following: • Valid health certificate • Proof of current rabies vaccination • Proof of a blood test to confirm rabies immunity within the 6 months prior to arrival in the UK • Microchip implantation Some countries in the European Union, notably Sweden, Ireland, and the UK, may have slightly different requirements.

In order to travel into Japan, a pet must have resided in the same country for a continuous period of at least 180 days. A valid health certificate issued within the past 30 days must be presented, along with proof of a rabies vaccination more than 30 days prior to travel and proof of a blood test confirming rabies immunity. Before traveling to Japan with your pet you must notify the Animal Quarantine Office at your destination airport a minimum of 40 days prior to your arrival. All pets traveling to Japan must have microchips implanted, and are subject to quarantine for a minimum of 12 hours. Depending on the origin country and the date of their rabies vaccinations, pets can be quarantined for up to 180 days.

Pets entering Australia are subject to a very stringent set of criteria, including the following: • Microchip implantation • Residence continuously in the same country for 180 days • Vaccination against parvovirus, Bordatella, parainfluenza, hepatitis and distemper at least 14 days but not more than 12 months prior to travel • Rabies vaccination at least 90 days but not more than 12 months prior to travel • De-wormer and tick treatment, as well as a series of blood tests that must be completed within a prescribed time frame • An import permit and a veterinary certificate signed by a USDA/APHIS vet, as well as certification of a vet exam within the 48 hours prior to travel, clearing the pet of any communicable diseases or external parasites. Even with all of these requirements, all pets traveling to Australia are quarantined for a minimum of 30 days and up to 90 days.

International pet travel to Mexico involves a valid health certificate, along with proof of rabies, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis and distemper vaccinations. There is no quarantine requirement for pets entering Mexico.

Pets traveling to Canada must have a valid health certificate and proof of a rabies vaccine within the last three years as well as vaccinations against parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis and distemper. As with Mexico, there are no quarantine requirements in Canada.

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