Q&A from Interstate Travel and Movement Compliance for Companion Animals Webinar

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Blog, Featured | 0 comments

In our recent webinar, Interstate Travel and Movement Compliance for Companion AnimalsDr. Nelva Bryant discussed navigating the current rules and regulations around companion animal movement throughout the US and Internationally.

Here, we’re sharing resources and summarizing Q&A from the webinar. If you still have questions, 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.

Airline Travel

Q: One of the major worries of pet owners in regards to long distance traveling (specialty aircraft) is the stress the pet experiences during the travel. Is there any medication that could be helpful in this? Or other tips to help the owner prepare their pet?

A: Providing any medication that causes sedation is not recommended. According to the AVMA, sedation is not advised for air travel of dogs and cats. Sedation impairs the natural ability to balance equilibrium, brace to prevent injury, and impairs the ability of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems to respond to altitude pressures. The most important thing is for the pet to be acclimated to the crate to ease the stress of air travel.

Q: Can a small dog travel with the owner in the passenger section of the airplane? If so, what requirements other than a CVI need to be met?

A: When traveling via aircraft, please review the pet travel policies for your airline. They will provide the specific requirements for air travel in-cabin or via cargo. If traveling in-cabin, the pet must be small enough to fit in an approved carrier beneath the seat in front of you.

Q: Does each airline have their own temperature requirements for cargo travel?

A: Yes, each airline will have their own pet travel policies regarding temperature. Please review the pet travel policies for your airline.

Q: How can we truly know a pet is acclimated to a certain temp and sign off on it?

A: Considerable thought should be taken regarding the signage of an acclimation statement. When traveling via cargo, an airline requires an acclimation statement if the temperature is below 45 deg F. This is a USDA APHIS animal welfare requirement, and the lowest temperature for travel must be determined by the issuing accredited veterinarian. The accredited veterinarian is asked to determine the lowest temperature between 20 – 45 deg F that a pet could travel via cargo. Being that most pets reside inside households and are not routinely exposed to temperature extremes, there’s no way of knowing whether a pet is acclimated to temperatures between 20-45 deg F. Sign with care and consider what you are attesting to.

Q: Are brachycephalic pets allowed to travel in cabin?

A: Yes, they are allowed to travel in-cabin.

Q: Does each ariline have breeds that are embargoed for air travel? Where can I find information on embargoed breeds?

A: Yes, each airline will have their own pet travel policies regarding embargoed breed. Please review the pet travel policies for your airline.

International Travel

Q: Is there a website where international health certificates can easily be found?

A: Each country can require the use of their specific animal health certificate. The USDA Pet Travel Website is a great resource that provides the dog and cat entry requirements for most destinations.

Q: Italy requires microchip be implanted before the rabies vaccine to be considered the primary vaccine. If the primary rabies was administered before the microchip was implanted, will the USDA endorser reject the certificate?

A: You must comply with the pet entry requirements of the destination country. If microchipping is required prior to the rabies vaccination, then you will have to revaccinate the pet against rabies to meet their entry requirements. USDA could reject endorsement if you do not meet the entry requirements. Additionally, if the pet arrives to the destination without meeting the entry requirements, it can be denied entry.

Q: Our USDA office informed us several years ago that for any country that has its own (country-specific) health certificate form, the USDA will NOT endorse an APHIS 7001 form. Many of the airlines and pet transport companies still ask us to do APHIS 7001 forms *in addition* to the country specific forms. This seems like a waste of time, but I’ve always done it to make sure our clients don’t run into any problems. Should we continue to provide the APHIS 7001 form as well?

A: When traveling internationally via aircraft, you must comply with the pet entry requirements of the destination country and the airline. The airline will require a certificate of veterinary inspection to meet USDA animal welfare requirements. Thus, I recommend that you provide the required documents for the airline and the destination country.

Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs)

Q: As a veterinarian, is it our job to ensure that the client has an import permit?

A: Each state or country will have their own pet entry requirements which may include an import permit. The USDA Pet Travel Website is a great resource that provides the dog and cat entry requirements for most destinations. As the issuing accredited veterinarian, you must ensure pets meet the entry requirements for the destination state or country.

Q: How do we get the permit number when it is required by the state of destination?

A: You will need to contact the state veterinarian’s office for the state of destination to obtain a permit number.

Q: If you have an animal travelling to a state without specific requirements for vector borne diseases and you detect a vector borne disease before issuing a CVI (such as a SNAP 4Dx), when is it acceptable to issue a CVI for that animal and allow travel? After finishing treatment for the disease?

A: Great question. A CVI attests that the animal does not have evidence of a infectious/communicable disease. Thus, a CVI should not be issued if a pet has a vector borne disease. Once cleared of the disease, a CVI can be issued. For further questions regarding the signage of a CVI, contact your Area Veterinarian in Charge (AVIC).

Q: Can the pet be examined by a doctor who is not USDA accredited, and the CVI be signed by a doctor who is USDA accredited, if those two doctors work at the same hospital?

A: No, that is considered fraud. Accredited veterinarians are commissioned to ensure the health of the Nation’s livestock and animal population and protect public health. All required examinations, diagnostic testing, and documents to meet domestic and international requirements must be completed by an accredited veterinarian. Please review USDA Veterinary Accreditation Program and request to become an accredited veterinarian to provide accredited services.

Q: How do you submit a CVI to the state of destination?

A: CVIs should be mailed to the state of destination, if you are using a paper form. Before completing a paper CVI, ensure that the state of destination accepts the form that you are using. CVIs created through a electronic service such as GVL are automatically submitted to the state of origin and destination.

Q: Can the destination address on a CVI be the airport or hotel?

A: The destination address is where the animal will reside in the destination state or country.

Q: Is there another/new widely accepted form in replace of the APHIS 7001 form?

A: Since the APHIS 7001 is readily available on-line and lacks the ability to ensure validity, most states do not accept the use of the APHIS 7001 form for domestic travel. When completing a certificate of veterinary inspection for domestic travel, the accredited veterinarian must research the pet entry requirements for the destination state. State-specific CVI are available or you can find a CVI provider to fulfill the requirements for travel.

Q: In regards to keeping the CVI for 5 years, if the CVI is scanned into the electronic medical record, is this enough? Or do we need to keep the actual carbon copy paper form (for interstate travel)?

A: Yes, scanning the CVI into the medical record seems an appropriate way to store the information.

APHIS 7001 Form

Q: I recently heard that the 7001 is not accepted everywhere, and most of the clinics I do relief at were SHOCKED to hear this and didn’t change anything because they don’t know what else to do. When I look at the APHIS Pet Travel website, often states say just that a CVI is required, but doesn’t specify that it can’t be a 7001. Or, the Pet Travel website links to the state website but there are no details there, just phone numbers. In busy vet clinics, tracking down each separate state’s requirements just isn’t happening, and I’m worried about mistakes coming back on me as a relief vet, since each clinic is different. Is there a spreadsheet or quicker way to check each state’s requirements? And if we can’t use the 7001, what CAN we use?

A: Since the APHIS 7001 is readily available on-line and lacks the ability to ensure validity, most states do not accept the use of the APHIS 7001 form for domestic travel. When completing a certificate of veterinary inspection for domestic travel, the accredited veterinarian must research the pet entry requirements for the destination state. State-specific CVI are available or you can find a CVI provider to fulfill the requirements for travel. A list of states that are currently no longer accepting the APHIS 7001 form can be found here.

Rabies Vaccination Certificates

Q: If a rabies vaccination is lapsed, do you have to start over with a one year or can you do a three year?

A: Dogs and cats must be vaccinated and revaccinated against rabies according to product label directions. Please check with the manufacturer for information regarding the expiration of the rabies vaccination and their revaccination recommendations.

Q: If you have rabies records in your practice but the signing vet is no longer there, is there a way to get a duplicate signed certificate for clients that lost it?

A: Please contact your State Public Health Veterinarian to resolve this issue.

Microchips

Q: Does the ISO compliant microchip number need to be on the rabies vaccination certificate for international travel?

A: Yes, the ISO compliant microchip number must be affixed on all the documents required for international travel.

Q: What are we supposed to do if we don’t know when microchip was implanted?

A: Please contact the manufacturer and find out who that particular chip was sold to, and then contact that location for the date of insertion.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAN)

Q: With the new DOT ruling, are emotional support animals still allowed to travel on airplanes?

A: Emotional support animals may travel, however they are deemed personal pets and pet owners will incur a fee for their transport. Depending upon the size of the pet, it may travel in-cabin or via cargo. Please check with the airline for their policies for pet transport in-cabin and via cargo.

Breed Representation

Q: Who decides breed; the owner who reports to the veterinarian or the veterinarian who questions the owner for that information?

A: Misrepresentation of a breed could become a detriment to the safety and welfare of a pet during air travel. If the pet appears to be a breed that does not tolerate air travel very well, please educate the client of the risks associated with air travel.

Q: What do you recommend if a client presents their pet as a breed that the veterinarian doesn’t know or recognize? Or if the pet looks like a different breed than the client states they are?

A: As an accredited veterinarian, you are responsible for properly identifying animals and recording the identification on the CVI. It is essential to be able to positively identify animals that you have listed on official documents.

CDC Suspension of Dogs Coming from High-Risk Rabies Endemic Countries

Q: What countries are considered high risk for rabies under the CDC suspension?

A:Please reference the CDC website for information on the countries that are considered high risk for rabies.

GVL Platform

Q: Can the GVL platform be used for international travel as well?

A: Yes, the GVL platform can be used to create international travel certificate packages, including international health certificates. For more information on international travel certificate packages, visit our website.

Q: How can our clients access MyVetLink?

A: Your clients can create and access their MyVetLink accounts from MyVetLink.com.

Q: Is the GVL platform available to technicians as well to prepare the CVIs for the doctor?

A: Yes, veterinary technicians can have access to your GVL account to populate a CVI with client and animal information for the doctor to reveiw and sign.

Q: Are GVL CVIs accepted by all 50 states?

A: Yes, GVL digital health certificates (CVIs) are accepted in all 50 states as well as the US territories.

Q: Can GVL CVIs be sent to VEHCS for USDA endorsement for international travel?

A: Yes, GVL CVIs and International Health Certificates can be downloaded as PDFs and sent to VEHCS for endorsement for international travel.

Q: Can you create Rabies Vaccination Certificates independent of the CVI through GVL?

A: Yes, rabies certificates for dogs and cats can be created through the GVL platform. When logged into GVL, click Create in the upper right corner and select Rabies certificate to get started.

Q: Can a certificate of veterinary inspection be edited once it has been signed by a veterinarian?

A: No, a CVI cannot be edited once it has been signed by the veterinarian because it is an official regulatory document. The CVI would need to be voided and a new one issued to make any changes.

Q: How do you delete custom remarks that were previously created that are no longer needed?

A: To delete custom remarks saved to your GVL account you will need to clear your browsing history and cache and cookies through your web browser.

Q: Will the GVL platform check/comply with international import requirements? Or link to country specific documents?

A: The GVL platform stays up to date with current international travel requirements. We provide a travel timeline with information based on the species and destination selected and will also link to relevant sites or documents when necessary.

Q: What is the cost of using the GVL platform?

A: There are two pricing plans for the GVL platform. The pay as you go plan allows you to pay for certificates as you create them. On this plan, CVIs, EIAs, and VFDs, are $16/certificate and International Travel Packages are $65/package. The monthly subscription plan is $35.95/mo with reduced certificate fees of $5.50/certificate for CVIs, EIAs, and VFDs and $50/certificate for International Travel Packages. You can find additional information here.

Want to watch the webinar online?

The live webinar was recorded and can be viewed online. You will need to register to view the webinar, even if you had previously registered for the live webinar.

If you would like to earn CE credit, you will also need to take a short quiz after the webinar, linked below.

(If you already attended the live webinar for at least 50 minutes and requested CE, a certificate was emailed to you.)