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

The Wild Bird Conservation Act (Act) focuses on bird species listed in the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Since most exotic pet birds (including parrots, cockatoos, and macaws but excepting budgerigars and cockatiels) are species listed under CITES, most are affected by the Act.

Before you leave or travel to the United States, you must have a CITES permit if your pet is listed by CITES. To find out whether a species is listed, you can search the CITES-listed species database, using either the scientific name or the common name of the species.

Traveling With Your Pet Bird
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.

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 United States 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 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.

Traveling to the United States 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 60-90 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.

Importing Pet Birds From Canada
All pet birds imported into the United States from Canada are subject to veterinary inspection upon entry only and do not have to be quarantined. Arrangements for veterinary inspection must be made 3 working days prior to arrival. Pet birds arriving from Canada through an air/ocean port are required to have a USDA Import Permit (permit application is VS Form 17-129. Pet birds arriving from Canada through an eligible U.S.-Canadian land border port are exempt from the permit requirement. Pet birds imported from Canada must be inspected by a USDA veterinarian at the land, air or ocean port of entry. PLEASE NOTE: 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 fourteen days prior to the flight to the Riverdale MD fax #301-734-6402.

Importing or Traveling with Pet Birds To Canada From the United States
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.

Importing or Traveling with Pet Birds to Canada From Countries Other Than the United States
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. Pet birds returning to Canada from Mexico travelling with their owners may not transit through the United States by land. Alternative arrangements must be made prior to departure. The importation of pet birds is prohibited from the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Vietnam.

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 700
Arlington, VA 22203
Ph. 800-358-2104 Ph. 703-358-2104
Fax 703-358-2281

Shipping Birds by Air