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Pet Birds Require CITES Permits for International Relocation

CITES permits,international pet move,international pet shipping,international pet transport,moving birds and pocket pets August 22, 2019

Air Animal Pet Movers relocates family pets. They advise that owners of birds, specialty and pocket pets plan well in advance before moving because their precious pets may require a special Convention on International Trade in EndangeredSpecies of Wild Fauna and Flora permit.

CITES is a voluntary international conservation agreement signed by 183 countries including the United States. The convention ensures that international trade does not harm the 35,000 endangered and protected species on the list.

According to CITES, “trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction.”

“For example, if you own a cockatoo or a gecko, you will have to have a CITES permit,” said Dr. Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian and founder of Air Animal. There are many rules, regulations and exceptions in the CITES agreement. Every step must be followed to the letter. Each country has a CITES Management Agency responsible for issuing permits. In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the managing agency.

“Our pet move managers know exactly how to obtain CITES permits. We’ve relocated thousands of specialty pets. If the client wishes we can prepare the CITES documents as well as the health certificate documents and coordinate the move,” Woolf said.

The number of species on the CITES list often varies as countries request changes. All changes are ratified by all the members. As of August 1, 2019, there are 921 mammals, 1,472 birds, 902 reptiles and 162 amphibians on the CITES list.

“Our goal is to de-stress family moves and corporate relocations. We take on the complex details involved in moving pets across the country and around the world. Pet Moving Made Easy® is our focus, our passion and our promise,” Woolf added.

Quantas, a female blue and gold macaw, moved with Air Animal


Airlines Rejecting Digitally Signed Pet Health Certificates

Hawaii,move my dog to Guam,pet shipping,pet transportation June 12, 2019

Air Animal® Pet Movers advises anyone traveling with their pet use caution when obtaining a pet health certificate. Delta, United, American, Hawaiian and Alaskan airlines are turning away passengers traveling with their pets using electronic pet health certificates. The airlines are requiring health certificates with a seal and the original veterinarian signature. The travelers had to re-book their trips and obtain new health certificates at considerable trouble and expense.

Air Animal offers global health certificate consultation and document preparation services in addition to full-service pet relocations. All health certificates provided by Air Animal have original veterinary signatures.

In Tampa Bay, Air Animal’s experienced veterinarian completes all the complicated USDA forms in the office and sends them to the USDA. Elsewhere in the U.S., Air Animal completes the forms and overnights them to a client’s chosen USDA-accredited veterinarian. Generally, a pet health certificate exam takes less than one hour.

Health certificates for U.S. moves are good for 10 days from the date issued. Owners should call ahead 14 days to allow for processing and scheduling their veterinary visit. International health certificates are generally valid for 10 days--sometimes less--depending on the destination country. Plan ahead 21 days for international pet health certificates. For some countries, an additional veterinary visit shortly before flight is required.

Air Animal pet move managers are available to walk veterinary practice staff through the process by phone for mutual clients. Air Animal accepts pet health certificate clients from anywhere in the United States.

Hawaii and Guam have also recently updated rules and regulations for pets moving to these island paradises. We've posted the updates on our resource page.


Moving Pets Can Increase Corporate Relocation Success Rates

corporate relocation,international pet shipping,pet transportation June 12, 2019

ECA’s 2018 Permanent Transfer Survey finds that nearly 40 percent of international transfers lasting more than one year are permanent. That means there is no commitment for employees to return to their home countries.

The 2018 Mobility Outlook Survey by AIRINC concludes that 54 percent of companies anticipate increased demand for cross-border mobility.

Reviewing the corporate relocation policy landscape for “Mobility Magazine” (Sept. 2018), Susan Krupka McCune, CRP, GMS, director of global account management at SIRVA Worldwide Relocation & Moving, and Ish Bajwa, VP human resources-global mobility, Capital Group concluded that existing policies are being replaced. The new programs retain baseline consistency while allowing flexibility based on employee situations and preferences. Technology will make these programs a reality, they said.

Permitting employees to choose pet relocation as part of their flexible benefit can close the deal. According to Pam Buchanan, GMS, Lexicon Relocation, about 50 percent of companies offer pet relocation benefits. Some companies cap the benefit but more and more are moving to lump-sum or managed-cap programs.

Ivana Gibson, GMS described the programs this way:
• Lump-sum programs offer employees a specific amount of money upfront to cover move costs. Employees manage the moves themselves or may choose to work with a recommended relocation company.
• Managed-cap programs limit the amount that can be spent per relocation and may set caps for specific expenses such as temporary housing. These programs are usually managed by a relocation company which coordinates the move and recommends suppliers.

Adding Pets to the Move Mix

Air Animal has assisted over 50,000 families move their 100,000 furry, feathered and scaly pets all over the world. Fully 60 percent are corporate relocations.

“We work with employees and employers offering full-service moves, lump-sum, managed-cap moves and military permanent change of station moves every day,” said Walter M. Woolf, VMD, founder and CEO of Air Animal. Woolf said more companies offer flexible plans that allow employees to choose an experienced pet mover that knows how to handle the rules and regulations from origin to destination.

“Pets are members of the family. They’re important to an employee’s happiness and state of mind,” he adds. As proof, Woolf points to the increase in pet super stores, online pet stores, and pet service businesses. Making pet parents and their owners happy is now a billion-dollar business in the United States. It’s growing around the world as well.

“Air Animal works with the major relocation firms which represent international corporations. We work hard to earn their trust and referrals. Those relationships assure transferees that our services have been thoroughly vetted. We’ve found that corporate transferees who choose Air Animal are focused on their new jobs and challenges because they are confident their precious pets’ moves will go smoothly,” Woolf explained.

Air Animal is an appointed and endorsed International Air Transport Association air cargo sales agency working with all airlines that move animals. Air Animal is an Indirect Air Carrier cleared for pickup and delivery of live animals by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Recent relocations included dogs, cats, a quarter horse, a turtle and several guinea pigs.

Air Animal offers three service levels to meet every corporate transferee budget. VIP door-to-door is the most popular level for busy corporate employees managing a move and a new assignment. Costs for U.S. VIP pet moves for dogs and cats under 20 pounds start at $1995 and VIP international moves begin at $2895. This service includes residential pickup and delivery, airport terminal services, commercial airline cargo charges, and domestic health certificate review or international health certificate preparation.

Pet relocation and shipping costs vary depending upon the species, breed, number of pets, the pet's physical weight, the flight kennel in which the pet flies, the origin, the destination, pre-flight requirements, air transport charges, and in-transit care charges. For international pet relocations, estimated costs also include customs entry procedures, veterinary inspections, in-transit care, boarding or quarantine if required, and the specific requirements of the destination country. In some countries destination air cargo firms may charge additional fees for animal handling that are not included in Air Animal’s estimates.

Air Animal’s new mobile and desktop app also de-stresses corporate relocations exclusively for Air Animal clients. The app puts the pet move in the palm of their hands:
• Microchip info
• Vaccination records
• Veterinarian info
• Health certificate copies
• Pet move itinerary
• Flight tracking
• Pet photo ID

“Pet Moving Made Easy® is our passion, our focus and our promise to companies and their corporate transferees,” Woolf said.


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


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.


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>


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


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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