General information on importing animals
All livestock, horses, poultry, waterfowl and other animals, including pets entering Massachusetts from other states must comply with Commonwealth regulations. Import regulations reduce the risk of exposing our domestic animals to contagious diseases. Livestock dealers and transporters are licensed and their equipment and facilities inspected. Cattle, swine, goats, sheep, llamas/camelids, horses and other equines must have valid health certificates. All cattle, swine, sheep and goats must be identified by an official ear-tag, tattoo, microchip or registration number. All animals transported into Massachusetts for slaughter must have USDA approved waybills and back tag certificates. Animals must be identified by eartags, back tags or other USDA approved identification.
Other animals, such as poultry, waterfowl, rabbits, dogs, cats, doves, pigeons and other pets must have an official health certificate with them. This health certificate will state that the animals are healthy, free of symptoms of disease, and internal and/or external parasites. Certificates of health are valid for 30 days.
Animals leaving Massachusetts must obey the regulations set by the state of destination. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website to view these import requirements. For animals being exported to another country call USDA/APHIS/VS at (508) 363-2290 for proper procedures.
Importation regulations for different animals
Import and export rules for dogs, cats, rabbits, doves, pigeons and exotic birds can be found on the page Importation regulations for pets.
Import and export rules for horses, cattle, poultry, llamas, swine, sheep, and goats can be found on the page Importation regulations for livestock.
Restrictions for animal imports
Animals from herds, droves or flocks under quarantine or from areas under quarantine for any disease will not be allowed entry.
No titer resulting from any accepted test for brucellosis will be allowed entry. No titers at suspicious or positive levels for any infectious disease of any livestock, animals or poultry will be allowed entry.
Exemptions for animal imports
Animals being imported into Massachusetts for immediate slaughter are not required to have a health certificate with them.
All species of animals for research under 6 months of age, destined for an official research facility and destined for slaughter or euthanasia after completion of the research are exempt from tests upon permission of the Chief Veterinary Health Officer of Massachusetts.