Government laws and regulations about pets
All states have special
laws and regulations related to pets. Generally,
dogs and cats must have identification tags
attached to their bodies at all times. Some
states also require birds to be identified
by bands that are fitted around one of the
Your pet’s identification tag should
have the pet’s name as well as your
address and telephone number. Rabies tags
may also be required depending on your state,
and special tags may be required by airlines
for pets to wear during travel.
Contact the state veterinarian of your
destination state for requirements and laws.
You may be required to obtain an entry permit
for your animal to legally enter your new
state. These permits and licenses are often
limited to a certain period of time in which
the animal must complete travel. Additionally,
dogs and cats moving to Hawaii are required
to be quarantined for up to 120 days.
Additionally, a health certificate may
be required for entry into certain states.
These may be examined at airports, and your
pet can be denied entry in the absence of
these certificates. The health certificate
verifies that your pet’s vaccinations
are up to date.
In relation to horses, many states have
special requirements about the location in
which these animals can be stabled. Contact
the state veterinarian to determine the requirements
in your new state.
To learn about interstate traveling regulations
for your pets, contact the U.S. State and
Territory Animal Import Regulations website
This site, maintained by the United States
Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services
(USDA/APHIS) has links to current information
on regulations for interstate movement of
animals. You can also contact the USDA/APHIS
Veterinary Services at 1-800-545-USDA to
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