By Robert Szostek, USEUCOM Customs Public Affairs
People moving stateside this summer may take most types of pets with them if they plan ahead.
However, endangered species laws prevent people from taking some turtles, birds and reptiles to the United States.
“Dogs must be free of disease and be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before they reach the USA,” said Tim Sellman, director of the U.S. European Command’s Customs and Border Clearance Agency. “Puppies younger than three months and dogs in rabies-free areas such as the United Kingdom may be exempted, however.”
It varies by state, but generally unvaccinated dogs will be inoculated on arrival and confined for 30 days at the owner’s expense. Cats must show no signs of disease and rabies vaccination is required in most states.
People wanting to ship pet birds should consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for the latest information on shipping birds as procedures can change at short notice. The address is: www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/importexport
Arrangements to ship pet birds to the U.S. must be made 120 days in advance of the PCS.
Hawaii is the only place in the U.S. that is permanently free of rabies. Personnel moving to the Aloha State should check the Hawaii Department of Agriculture web page to find out about their special quarantine requirements for pets at: hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-information-page
For more information on shipping pets and endangered species legislation, visit a military customs office or consult the military customs website at www.eur.army.mil/opm/customs/pets.htm.