Importing and exporting pets

Read regulations and information on importing dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds.
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Importing and exporting dogs and cats

Dogs and cats entering the state must have a health certificate.

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies not more than 12 months before importation if over 6 months of age.  Dogs or cats imported into Massachusetts that are not vaccinated for rabies will must be vaccinated within 30 days of entry or at 6 months of age, whichever last occurs.  The health certificate needs to indicate non-exposure to rabies.  

 

Animals imported from out of state shelter/rescue organizations must also comply with the Emergency Order 1-AHO-05, found at the Animal Shelter and Rescue Program.

Importing and exporting rabbits

All imported rabbits must have an official health certificate stating that the animals are healthy, free of symptoms of infectious or transmissible disease, internal and/or external parasites, and exposure to any infectious or contagious disease. Health certificates are valid for 30 days.

If rabbits are being transported for slaughter they must be accompanied by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved waybills and identified by eartags, backtags, or other USDA approved identification.

Importing and exporting parrots or other exotic birds

All birds must have an official health certificate stating that the animals are healthy, free of symptoms of infectious or transmissible disease, internal and/or external parasites, and exposure to any infectious or contagious disease. Health certificates are valid for 30 days.

All birds must originate from healthy flocks and premises. Psittacosis is prevalent in birds of that category and very infectious to humans. All identified cases of psittacosis will be traced to point of origin and such sources will be quarantined if in Massachusetts or placed on a list for USDA, US DPH action.

 

Importing and exporting pigeons and doves

All birds must have an official health certificate stating that the animals are healthy, free of symptoms of infectious or transmissible disease, internal and/or external parasites, and exposure to any infectious or contagious disease. Health certificates are valid for 30 days.

All birds must originate from healthy flocks and premises.

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