Legalities of Interstate Travel with Pet Birds

bird carrier for air travel Legalities of Interstate Travel with Pet BirdsBy Diane Burroughs

Traveling with your pet birds is a fun experience however it takes some planning for both safety and learning  Legalities of Interstate Travel with Pet Birds.  Any time that you travel with pet birds, you need to follow interstate travel regulations and understand individual state requirements. While interstate travel with parrots is much less complicated than airline travel, it is still wise to adhere to interstate travel requirements in order to avoid trouble with the law and avoid potential avian diseases.

Before leaving on an interstate driving trip, avian veterinarians recommend that you research the state animal officials for the states you will be driving through and staying in. Inquire about whether there are any restrictions for people traveling through the state with pet birds, especially Quaker parrots or staying for short periods of time. Two helpful websites to check include:

Most states only require a recent interstate veterinary health certificate that you can obtain from any licensed veterinarian. Plan to obtain a certificate no more than 10 days before your departure. It’s important to have this because some states have border checks on the highway at state lines and may request to see current documentation for any animals in your vehicle. Also, if you are traveling through a state that has issued an avian or poultry quarantine, it will be important to be able to certify your parrot’s health. Obtaining a current health certificate prior to departure will help you determine if your parrot is healthy enough to withstand the trip.

Carefully research if you will be traveling through or staying in a state that has issued an avian or poultry quarantine. Firstly, you may not be allowed to bring your bird into the state, and secondly, you don’t want to expose your pet to a potentially life threatening disease. In both 1971 and 2002-2003 there were severe outbreaks of Exotic Newcastle’s Disease in the American Southwest creating stringent biosecurity measures. This disease affected all birds, but especially the poultry industry. Not only was it quite devastating for the poultry industry, but it was a scary time for anyone who owned parrots. You’ll want to be aware of whether the state you are traveling through has had an outbreak of any avian disease or has issued a quarantine.

Be aware that if you are transporting a Quaker parrot and passing through a state where the bird is prohibited you should make prior arrangements to insure that you follow the state law. Quaker parrots are illegal to own or to sell in several states, including California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wyoming. In Connecticut, Quakers are legal to own, but you can’t sell or breed them. New York and Virginia residents are allowed to own Quakers, but they must register with the state. Consult the website for specific information

Planning ahead for interstate transport of your parrot not only provides peace of mind but may prevent a lot of grief should you be stopped for an inspection or worst case scenario, have your parrot confiscated.


About Diane Burroughs

Diane Burroughs, founded in 1998. A bird lover who is owned by African Grey's, a Moluccan, a Parrotlet and a Red-Bellied Parrot, Diane is dedicated to improving the lives of pet birds with vet-approved parrot tested supplies and expert bird care articles.


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