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Travel With Pet Birds - Take Your Pet Bird to a Foreign Country

The Wild Bird Conservation Act (Act) of 1992 helps to ensure that exotic bird species are not harmed by international trade and encourages wild bird conservation programs in countries of origin. The Act focuses on bird species listed in the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Since most exotic pet birds (including parrots, cockatoos, and macaws but excluding budgerigars and cockatiels) are species listed under CITES, most are affected by the WBCA.

To determine if your pet bird is listed under the WBCA and/or CITES, please refer to the following lists:
Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) – Visit WBCA page
CITES- Search by scientific name or common name on the CITES Species Database

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued regulations implementing the Act that provide for permits to allow foreign travel with your pet bird (domestic travel and sales are not affected). If you plan to take your pet bird with you on foreign travel, or your residence has been outside the United States for a year and you plan to travel to the United States with a pet bird, you will need to have a permit before you travel. These new regulations are in addition to any other existing requirements of CITES, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and other applicable statutes. For more information on traveling abroad with pet birds click here

Permit Information
If you have determined that your pet is protected under the WBCA or CITES, you will need to apply for one or more of the following permits. Be sure to plan ahead for your travel. You should allow at least 60 days to process your application, noting that some applications may take longer than 90 days.

One-time import, export, or re-export of personal pets listed under CITES or the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA)
If you are intending to make one border crossing (either an import, export, or re-export) with your CITES or WBCA-listed pet, you should complete application form 3-200-46

“Pet passport”: Multiple import, export, or re-exports of a personal pet listed under CITES
If you reside in the U.S. and intend to make multiple border crossings with your CITES-listed pet, you should complete application form 3-200-64

For more information on permits click here

In addtion, many countries require your pet to have an International Health Certificate (APHIS FORM 7001 - "United States Interstate & International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals") to be completed by the APHIS accredited veterinarian who certifies animal health status, conducts tests, and records test results for the individual animals being exported. For further information please visit International Pet Travel

Leaving the U.S. with Your Pet Bird
To ensure that you will be allowed to bring your pet bird back into the United States from travel abroad, you will need to take the following steps before you leave:

1. Obtain a valid CITES permit from the Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Applications for permits must be received in that office at least 60-90 days in advance of anticipated travel.

2. Have your permit validated by a Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Inspector before you leave the United States. (Instructions will be provided on the permit.)

3. Take a copy of your validated permit with you. This copy must be presented when you re-enter the United States with your pet.

4. Find out whether the country(ies) you plan to visit have additional import and export requirements and restrictions. At a minimum, a re-export certificate from the country(ies) visited will be required. The Division of Management Authority can provide you with a contact address, phone or fax number for CITES permits offices in other countries.

There are no restrictions on the length of time you may travel abroad or on the number of birds you may take with you.

Bringing a Bird into the United States - Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Although CDC has rescinded its restriction on the importation of birds and bird products, CDC supports USDA/APHIS in its ongoing regulations to prohibit or restrict the importation of birds, poultry, and unprocessed birds and poultry products (such as eggs and feathers) from countries where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) has been confirmed in poultry.

Traveling to the U.S. with Your Pet Bird
If your pet bird was acquired outside the United States or exported abroad from the United States without a CITES permit, 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, if all applicable requirements have been met prior to their arrival in the United States. Following are the steps you need to take before you leave for the United States:

1. Obtain a valid permit from the Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Applications for permits must be received in that office at least 45 days in advance of anticipated travel.

2. Obtain documented evidence that you have resided outside the United States continuously for a minimum of 1 year.

3. Obtain documented evidence that each bird was acquired legally.

4. Obtain all other necessary permits from the country(ies) of export, including a CITES permit.

The Act restricts the number of pet birds individuals may import into the U.S. annually. However, if your bird is one of the approved-captive breed species you do not need a WBCA permit to import your pet.

Importing Pet Birds From Canada
All pet birds imported from Canada through any of the designated U.S.-Canadian land border ports are subject to veterinary inspection at the port of entry. You must contact the port at least 3 to 5 days prior to entry in order to assure the availability of a port veterinarian. Pet birds arriving from Canada through an air/ocean port are required to have a USDA Import Permit (VS Form 17-129), although a veterinary health certificate is not required. These birds must also be inspected by a USDA veterinarian at the air or ocean port of entry. The importer is required to contact the port veterinarian at the phone number listed on the import permit at least 72 hours in advance of arrival to arrange for a veterinary inspection. Pet birds imported from Canada must be inspected by a USDA veterinarian at the land, air or ocean port of entry.

Canadian birds who are reentering the U.S. from Mexico will have to undergo a 30 day quarantine into order to be driven back through the U.S. Therefore, it is recommended that they be flown back. If the fight lands at an U.S. airport, then they will need a Transit Permit. The application form, VS Form 17-129, should be submitted 14 days prior to the flight to the Riverdale MD fax #301-734-4704. For more information on importing pet birds from Canada click here

Traveling with Pet Birds To Canada From the U.S.
Pet birds may be imported under pet birds under the following conditions: the birds must accompany the owner or be in the possession of an immediate family member at the time of entry into Canada; the birds must be found to be healthy when inspected at the port of entry; the owner must sign a declaration stating that the birds have been in his/her possession for the 90 day period preceding the date of importation and have not been in contact with any other birds during that time; the owner must sign a declaration stating that the birds are the owner's personal pets and are not being imported for the purpose of re-sale; and the owner or any member of the family must not have imported birds into Canada under the pet bird provision during the preceding 90 day period. It is the responsibility of the importer to determine whether the species for importation is subject to the controls imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service. For more information click here

Traveling with Pet Birds to Canada From Countries Other Than the U.S.
Canada allows the importation of pet birds travelling with their owners, provided that import requirements are met. Import requirements vary, depending on the country of origin. For more information click here

Applications and Additional Information
Permit applications (Form 3-200-46) and any other information you may need are available from:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service International Affairs
Division of Management Authority
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 212
Arlington, VA 22203
Ph. 800-358-2104
Ph. 703-358-2104

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