The doctors at The Veterinary Clinic have undergone special training and testing to qualify for accreditation by the federal government. We work with the Department of Agriculture – Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) to assist with a variety of animal disease control programs. One of these services is to perform health examinations and certification for interstate and international travel. We are happy to be able to provide this service to our clients, but there are several important facts to keep in mind. Every destination has its own requirements, and they are subject to change, often without notice. Airlines may have additional requirements of their own. In some cases the only requirement is an examination to confirm that the pet is in good health, but most countries also require rabies vaccination. For travel to some countries (and to Hawai’i) the pet must have a blood test for rabies antibodies (it usually takes at least a month to get these results). Some countries require additional tests and/or immunizations, as well as treatment for internal and external parasites. Microchip or tattoo identification is sometimes necessary. We have the standard USDA-APHIS health certificate (form 7001) but many countries have their own documents.
It is the responsibility of the client to find out what the requirements are and to secure the necessary forms. For foreign countries, the necessary information is usually available from the appropriate consulate or online. An excellent source of current regulations is the USDA-APHIS website: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/ Many countries require the health certificates that we sign to be further endorsed and stamped by an official of USDA-APHIS. This can be done by sending the documents by overnight mail or bringing them to an APHIS office in person. The center serving NY State is in Albany and can be reached at (518) 218-7540 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an office at JFK Airport (718) 553-3570, but at present they are offering only limited services. Please keep in mind the time it takes to get this done when making your plans. The various steps in the process have to fit into specific time constraints relative to the departure date, and may be disqualified if done too early or too late. One last note: We have invested considerable time and effort into maintaining accreditation (including continuing education and recertification every few years) and making false statements on these documents makes us liable to loss of accreditation, as well as potential civil and even criminal penalties. Please don’t ask us to change dates, alter vaccine histories or test results, or otherwise compromise the integrity of the process.