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411 on International Pet Health Certificates

health certificate,international pet shipping,international pet transportation,pet health certificate March 20, 2019

International pet health certificates are required entry documents for all pets traveling outside the U.S. Most countries including the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates require U.S. Department of Agriculture export endorsement. Here’s how the process works.

Pet owners make appointments with USDA-accredited veterinarians who examine the pets. The veterinarian verifies the microchip in the pet and logs the number on the paperwork. The veterinarian signs the documents and sends the paperwork to the USDA for endorsement. Microchips must always be present before rabies vaccinations when they are required by the destination. If the pet does not have a microchip, the veterinarian can insert an International Standards Organization-compatible microchip appropriate for the destination. If rabies re-vaccination is required, travel will be delayed.

International health certificates are generally valid for 10 days - sometimes less - depending on the destination country. Please plan ahead at least 30 days for international pet health certificates, processing and scheduling veterinary visits. For some countries, an additional veterinary visit shortly before flight is required.

These four basic steps must be followed in order:

  1. Microchip the pet for identification purposes
  2. Certify a current rabies vaccination. If the pet enters the UK or EU with a current 3-year rabies vaccination which is more than one year old, then additional documentation will be required.
  3. At least 21 days after the most recent rabies vaccination, book an appointment with a USDA-accredited veterinarian to issue an international pet health certificate. The veterinary appointment for the international health certificate must be within the time frame required by the destination.
  4. USDA export endorsement.


Health certificates for U.S. moves are good for 10 days from the date issued.

For Pets on the Move®, Air Animal offers global health certificate services in addition to full-service pet relocations. In Tampa Bay, experienced veterinarians complete all the complicated USDA forms right in their office and overnight them to the USDA. Elsewhere in the U.S., Air Animal completes the forms and overnights them to the client’s chosen USDA-accredited veterinarian. The service includes an overnight envelop to ship signed paperwork to the USDA for export endorsement.

Air Animal’s experienced move managers are available to walk veterinary practice staff through the process and timelines by phone for our mutual clients. Air Animal is pleased to accept health certificate clients from all over the United States.

Learn more about country requirements for importing pets at airanimal.com.


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Pet Owners Are Experiencing Pick-up Delays at Heathrow

BREXIT,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,UK February 8, 2019

(Feb. 7, 2019)—Recent administrative changes relating to pet entry are causing release delays at London Heathrow. Pets are being held longer than we have previously experienced. Our United Kingdom service partners have advised that more changes may occur with Britain’s exit from the European Union. We’ll post updates to this blog as we learn of the changes.




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British Airways Cargo Accepting Pets TPA to LGW

international pet shipping,international pet transportation,UK pet importation January 24, 2019

British Airways now accepts pet cargo shipments from Tampa International Airport to London Gatwick Airport providing the departure time temperatures are under 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Air Animal clients may also use our Orlando office and fly on one of two daily flights direct from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Gatwick (LGW).

If you book and the temperature climbs, Air Animal founder, Dr. Walter Woolf advises, "All hiccups can be managed with enough creativity and experience. That's why Pet Moving Made Easy® is our motto."

If you are planning a pet move from west coast or central Florida to the UK, please plan ahead and call us early. <READ MORE>



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Air Animal Recommends Canine Flu Vaccine Before Relocation or Travel

dog flu,dog flu vaccine,domestic pet transport,flu season,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport January 22, 2019

Several countries now refuse dogs unless the import documents prove Fluffy has been vaccinated for canine influenza. Air Animal urges all pet owners to vaccinate their dogs against canine influenza before relocation or travel of any kind.


"Dog flu is easily prevented by visiting your veterinarian for two doses of the canine flu vaccine,” said Dr. Walter Woolf, VMD, Air Animal's veterinarian founder. “The first vaccination provides partial immunity. The second vaccination given about two weeks later is a booster which gives stronger protection."

According to Woolf, New Zealand and other countries now requiring dog flu vaccination usually accept a recent booster shot if the documents show full previous immunization and the booster administration date.

There are two types of canine influenza vaccines. Ask your veterinarian which she recommends.

  • Zoetis – Vanguard CIV H3N2/H3N8 – 2 vaccinations, 3 weeks apart. Considered fully vaccinated 7 days after the second shot.
  • Merck – Nobivac CIV H3N2/H3N8 – 2 vaccinations, 2 weeks apart. Considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second shot.


Flu in dogs is potentially dangerous and a very communicable respiratory disease. Dogs that come down with the flu develop fevers and coughs that last one to three weeks. You may notice decreased appetite, lethargy and a greenish discharge from the nose and eyes. Some dogs develop higher fevers and pneumonia. Severe flu cases can cause death.

If you’re traveling with your dog--especially to an overseas destination--this ounce of prevention really is better than a pound of cure.

Learn more about country requirements for importing pets at airanimal.com.


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USDA Processing Pet Health Certificates During Shutdown

federal government shutdown,government shutdown,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,USDA January 8, 2019

(Tampa, FL--Jan. 8, 2019)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to endorse international pet health certificates for export even though many federal workers have been furloughed by the federal government shutdown. Appointments are required at their regional offices. Please consult the USDA for locations.


If you're traveling overseas with your pet, please discuss the health certificate timing with your veterinarian. Air Animal offers global pet health certificate services in addition to full-service pet relocations. In Tampa Bay, our experienced veterinarian completes all the complicated USDA forms right in our office and takes care of sending them to the USDA. Elsewhere in the U.S., we complete the forms and overnight them to your chosen USDA-accredited veterinarian. <LEARN MORE>

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Fake Puppies in the Browser Window

domestic pet shipping,domestic pet transport,holiday pet scams,international pet shipping,international pet transport,pet scams November 28, 2018

It’s the gift-giving season, and many put a new pet on their holiday wish lists. We buy everything from clothing to furniture on the Internet, so perhaps it’s natural to search online for a pet. Sadly, it’s often the set-up for cybercrime. The Internet is full of imitators and fraudsters offering cheap Siberian husky puppies, Yorkies, bulldogs, Capuchin monkeys, parrots and other “boutique” animals. "Don’t be fooled by pet scams!" urges said Walter Woolf, VMD, owner of Air Animal Pet Movers, one of the six founders of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association.

A quick online search for online puppy scams returns hundreds of warnings from the IPATA, the ASPCA, the Better Business Bureau and others. They warn online pet scams are increasing “at an alarming rate.”
After you wire the money or send those Amazon gift cards to buy the fake doggies in the window, the scammer asks for more money for refundable insurance, special flight kennels, permits, veterinary testing. Caveat emptor.
“These cyber criminals steal the identities of reputable breeders and pet shippers to appeal to your soft side and steal your money,” said Woolf.
"To buy a pet, talk with the actual breeder. Get to know them. Visit the breeder. Ask questions. Ask for a minimum of three satisfied customer phone numbers and call them. A cyber pet seller will never share the name of the breeder or a telephone contact number," Woolf warned.
Best bets to buy a pet: 
1. Don’t hurry. Thoroughly check their references and reviews. 
2. Get complete details on the proposed shipping company moving your new pet and call them to confirm that they know and work with the breeder before sending money. 
3. Analyze the pet seller’s website. Scammers are known to illegally copy legitimate websites. 
4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires licensing or registration for every breeder, dealer, pet transporter or carrier. Check their registration with the USDA. 
5. The American Kennel Club hosts an online source for reputable AKC-registered breeders at marketplace.akc.org. Having “AKC” in the email address or website name does not guarantee the breeder is an AKC breeder.
There are ways pet lovers can effectively fight back if they have been scammed. Contact any of the following agencies to identify and report pet fraud. There are no free puppies or free lunches. 

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Australia & New Zealand: My Favorite Pet Moves

Australia,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,New Zealand November 14, 2018


Ask Jessica Nickler about her favorite moves and her face lights up about helping clients move to Australia and New Zealand. "It's a personal and professional challenge. From start to finish clients need to plan ahead six months. I have the opportunity to work with clients long enough to create a relationship that I hope they find as rewarding as I do," she said.


Australia and New Zealand do not have rabies, so their animal import regulations guard their country's bio-security. Jessica manages two to three Australia and New Zealand each month completing nearly 80 moves in four years. She shared three things which are really important.

1) Following the DAFF Veterinary protocol is critical to a successful move.  If something isn't done correctly at any step the move will be delayed. Every required test and treatment must be done by a USDA-accredited veterinarian. A veterinarian who has applied for accreditation is not good enough. They must be certified at the time of the blood draw. Even if the veterinarian is experienced in international pet travel, we recommend allowing Air Animal to handle the timeline and documentation.  Dog owners should expect a minimum of at least four veterinary visits and cat owners should expect a minimum of three visits to complete the required protocols.

"There are two types of rabies antibody titer tests--FAVN-OIE and RFFIT. Only the FAVN-OIE is acceptable in Australia and New Zealand. The testing must be run at the approved lab or it won't be accepted," she warned.

2) Acclimating pets to the flight kennel is important. Pets moving to Australia and New Zealand are often in their kennels for 20-24 hours. The flight itself is around 16 hours. Add in drop off and pick up times on either end and it adds up. "If your pet feels the kennel is theirs--it's their safe space--it reduces anxiety. Unfortunately, there's no way to cut down the flight time for a move to this region," she said.

3) A minimum 10 days of quarantine is required. "Australia and New Zealand animal quarantine is a no man's land of information because their number one mission is bio-security. You will not get updates and photos from quarantine. The adage of no news is good news, is applicable for quarantine in this region," Jessica advised.  Quarantine extensions beyond the mandatory 10 days are rare.

Many times, the family needs to relocate ahead of the pet and leaves their loved one in the care of family or a caretaker who is left to complete the final protocols for the pet’s departure. Communication between all parties is critical. Air Animal works to identify all the parties who will be responsible for the many moving parts early in the move. This often means speaking with the owners after hours due to time differences. Everyone must be on the same page.

"I'm thankful clients trust me and my pet moving team members to manage all the details for such a long journey for their family pets. And, I have many fond memories to go with the thank yous. One family sent me a framed photo of their dog wrapped in the Australian and American flags. Murphy was an Air Animal Facebook cover dog for several months."


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Pets from ‘Unlisted” Countries at Risk for UK Quarantine

international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,quarantine,rabies vaccine,UK Rabies Rules October 5, 2018

Pet dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated for rabies in "unlisted" countries may be quarantined for three months or returned to the United States when entering the UK, according to new guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service.


This applies even when the vaccines themselves have been approved for use in the United States.

If your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination occurred in a country that is NOT listed in the file below, Air Animal recommends re-vaccinating pets in one of the countries in the list. The pet must not travel for 21 days and must meet all the other criteria for UK entry. UK quarantine can be quite expensive, and travel stress your pet may experience could be compounded by being separated from you.

When traveling internationally with a pet, we also recommend you carry vaccination records that indicate the pet’s microchip ID, date of rabies vaccination, vaccine manufacturer, vaccine serial number, the date the vaccination expires and veterinarian’s name and address. Air Animal clients may use our free mobile app so all this information is available anytime in your phone or desktop browser.

Countries with Rabies Vaccination Protocols Accepted by the UK
Part I 
Countries referred to in Article 13(1) of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013
Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.

Part II
Countries and included territories referred to in Article 12(2) of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013
Ascension Island; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Australia; Aruba; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Barbados; Bahrain; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands); Belarus; Canada; Chile; Curacao; Fiji; Falkland Islands; Hong Kong; Jamaica; Japan; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Cayman Islands; Saint Lucia; Montserrat; Mauritius; Mexico; Malaysia; Mayotte; New Caledonia; New Zealand; French Polynesia; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Russia; Singapore, Saint Helena; Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Taiwan; United Arab Emirates; United States of America including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; British Virgin Islands; Vanatu; Wallis and Futuna.


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