Q&A from International Pet Travel 101 webinar

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Blog, Featured | 0 comments

In our recent webinar, International Pet Travel 101, Dr. Nelva Bryant provided insights into international travel with pets, outlining the complex requirements involved that vary by country, offering suggestions to prepare clients for international travel, and demonstrating solutions that can ease the process.

Here, we’re sharing resources and summarizing Q&A from the webinar. If you still have questions related to international travel with pets, please contact us and we’ll add them to this list.

Questions and answers from the webinar

There were many questions submitted by webinar attendees, and not all of them could be addressed in the hour-long session. We have compiled the questions and worked with Dr. Bryant to provide answers to the best of our knowledge. Click on a topic to expand the Q&A.

International Travel & Documentation

Q: Is it the veterinarian’s responsibility to research the requirements for the client?

A: Yes. Most destination countries require a health certificate, international health certificate, or import permit to be signed by a licensed and USDA accredited veterinarian. By signing the document, it is attesting that the pet meets the entry requirements for the destination country. As the signing veterinarian, you are taking responsibility for the pet meeting the entry requirements for the destination country.

Q: Should owners choose non-stop flights for international travel to limit the stress on their pets?

A: Yes. Non-stop flights are less stressful for pets traveling via cargo.

Q: Is it possible for someone who travels in the EU frequently to obtain a EU Pet Passport?

A: It is possible, however it must be obtained by a veterinarian in the EU (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/eu/pet_travel-european_union_pet_passports).

Q: If an owner is visiting two countries on their trip, can you put two locations on the same certificate? Or does the owner have to get one from the first country to travel to the second country?

A: No. Each country may have their own pet entry requirements and compliance is mandatory. Documentation that the pet meets the requirements for each country is required.

Q: Where do I find the information about the products that are approved for flea/ ticks or intestinal parasites treatments for international travel?

A: The destination country can stipulate which product to use to treat dogs/cats for fleas/ticks or intestinal parasites. Please the destination country’s pet entry requirements for more information.

Q: What if the owner doesn’t have the flight booked at time of exam appointment?

A: The owner does not need to show confirmation of international travel prior to preparing a pet for international travel. However, most countries require the exam to take place within a specified number of days before entry into the country, so you need to be aware of the destination country requirements when performing the exam.

Q: What is a letter of acclimation? Do they apply for international travel?

A: The letter of acclimation, or acclimation certificate, indicates the animal’s readiness for travel and defines the acceptable range of travel temperature. The document is needed when the forecasted temperature is between 20-45 deg F. The acceptable temperature range can’t be outside the limits set by airline policies. The document must be signed by a licensed and USDA accredited veterinarian within 10 days of the animal’s travel date.

Q: Can a pet with pre-exsting health conditions travel outside the country if the owner is willing to take the risk?

A: International travel is not recommended for pets with pre-existing medical conditions, however the pet owner makes the final decision. Pet owners must be aware of the risks.

Q: How long is the departing US certificate good for when returning to the United States?

A: The documentation obtained for your pet to enter a foreign country does not automatically guarantee its return to the US. To return to the US, your dog/cat must meet CDC’s dogs/cat importation regulatory requirements and comply with the requirements stipulated by the air carrier. Depending upon your length of stay in a foreign country, you may have to see a veterinarian to obtain a health certificate, etc prior to returning to the US.

Q: What will happen if the pet doesn’t meet the importation requirements of the destination country?

A: If a pet does not meet the entry requirements of the destination country, it can be denied entry and ordered to be returned to the origin country; it can be placed into mandatory quarantine, or it can be humanely euthanized.

Q: Who oversees importation of pets into the US?

A: The importation of dogs and cats is under the regulatory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Q: Is animal sedation allowed for airline travel?

A: No, it is not.

APHIS 7001 Form

Q: Does the 7001 aphis form, if being used domestically, need to be endorsed? Or can it just be signed by the USDA accredited veterinarian at your clinic?

A: APHIS 7001 forms for domestic travel (within the continental US) do not need to be endorsed. However, many states are no longer accepting the APHIS 7001 form for domestic travel. Learn more about the acceptance of the 7001 form here.

Emotional Support / Service Animals

Q: Do any European countries recognize Service Dog travel? If so, are the travel certificates the same?

A: The entry requirements for pets do not change because the animal is a service animal. Please contact the destinaton country for more information regarding their service animal policies.

Q: Where can I find information / requirements for clients traveling with emotional support animals on airlines?

A: Please see table with contact info for airlines. (Airline Pet Policy Information)

Destination Requirements

Q: If we have questions specific to a certain destination can we reach out to GVL support to assist? Or who should we contact?

A: We are happy to help answer your questions and direct you to the appropriate resources. You can contact the GVL Customer Success Team at 515-817-5704 or gvlsupport@globalvetlink.com. You can also visit the USDA Pet Travel website for additional information on international pet travel.

Rabies Vaccination Certificates

Q: Does the rabies certificate need to be signed by the vet?

A: Yes, the rabies vaccination certificate needs to be signed by the administering party.

Q: When creating a rabies vaccination certificate, it mentions intial or booster. What is the difference between an Initial and Booster vaccination?

A: An initial (may also be called a primary) vaccine, is the first vaccination of a pet. This vaccination must not be before three months of age and is only good for one year.

A booster is any vaccination following the initial vaccination, as long as the initial vaccination is still current. The booster vaccination can be good for one, two or three years. If any vaccination (initial or booster) is allowed to expire before re-vaccination can occur, then the next vaccination will automatically be an initial vaccination and only good for one year.

After initial vaccination there is usually a 21-day waiting period. It is after that time that the pet would be immune to the disease.

GVL Platform

Q: Are we able to create international health certificates through GVL now?

A: Yes. The GVL platform currently (as of 8/3/2020) has built in requirements for 29 countries. You can learn more about international pet movement compliance documentation here.

Q: Will additional countries be added to the GVL platform?

A: Yes. Our team is working to add additional countries to the GVL platform. The full list of countries with built in requirements is provided here.

Q: Is there a way to know the country requirements in GVL before actually doing the health certificate?

A: Yes. After logging into GVL, click Create > International Health Certificate. Next, enter the species, country and departure date. The GVL platform will provide you with a list of the country’s requirements, a travel timeline and links to the USDA pet travel site to access the country specific documents.

Q: Can a technician have an account to prepare an international health certificate for the veterinarian to review and sign?

A: Yes. Veterinary technicians and other office staff can have GVL accounts to enter client information and prepare certificate drafts for the veterinarian to review and sign.

Q: What is the cost for completing international health certificates through the GVL platform?

A: MSRP pricing for an international pet movement compliance package is $50 for the countries currently available in the GVL platform. Talk with the GVL sales team to learn more about fees.

Q: Are pictures required for small animal domestic or international health certificates on GVL?

A: No, pictures are not required but can be included on CVIs for both domestic and international travel.

Q: How are certificates completed through GVL sent for endorsement?

A: By using GVL, veterinarians can save time completing the necessary documentation for international travel. When the international health certificate is complete in the GVL system, the veterinarian can either print and mail the documentation for endorsement, or save the documentation to their desktop and upload the forms in VEHCS to submit electronically to their VS Endorsement office for review. If submitting online through VEHCS, the prepaid return shipping label should also be uploaded in the Attachment screen with the submission.

Watch International Pet Travel 101 Online

Uncertainty around international travel with pets has led to fear among animal health professionals and their clients in the US.

Watch this webinar (recorded 7/28/20), to learn about the process, preparation and various country requirements for compliant international pet travel. 

Watch this webinar (recorded 7/28/20) to learn about:

  • The process of preparing for international travel with pets.
  • The potential travel requirements and how they vary by country.
  • How to help ensure clients have what they need for complaint international travel.

This program has been approved for one hour of continuing education credit in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval.