What should I take note of when importing/exporting pets?
It is mandatory for all imported/exported animals to have a health certificate (obtainable from most vets), except those for exhibition purposes. The health certificate must indicate non-exposure to rabies and certify that pets are free of parasites such as screwworms. Refer to State regulations for Massachusetts and Centers for Disease control and Prevention for more details.
Rabies Vaccination: All pets (cats and dogs) must be vaccinated against rabies not more than 12 months prior to importation if over 6 months of age.
Dogs or cats imported into Massachusetts that are not currently vaccinated for rabies will be required to be vaccinated within 90 days of entry or acquisition or upon reaching the age of 6 months. Most veterinarians offer vaccination services and you can also refer to Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for a list of clinics providing rabies vaccinations in Massachusetts.
Although there are not strict guidelines on quarantine of imported pets, it is advised that pet owners take the onus to quarantine their pets at home for about 30 days.
For export of pets to your home country, the regulations vary. Some countries impose a mandatory quarantine upon entry, or in some cases an import license must be obtained first. You should check with officials in your state of destination and with your airline prior to your travel date. Refer to International Animal Export Regulations.
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Last Updated: January 2011