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D2010-37

Dear Daisy Dog

I am flying oversees next month with Lady, my Maltese. She is small enough to fly in the cabin with me, but I understand she needs a health certificate. How do I get one?

Daisy Responds

Besides packing, you have two important jobs to complete before your big trip.

First, you’ll need to consult the embassy or consulate of the country you’re visiting to learn what’s needed for Lady to enter their country.

Second, contact all airlines that will transport you and Lady. They’ll let you know their requirements, one of which usually is a health certificate.

The international health certificate must be completed by a veterinarian accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), who attests that Lady is healthy, has no contagious diseases and is unlikely to carry rabies. Your regular veterinarian, who may be USDA-accredited, also can update Lady’s vaccinations and conduct whatever tests the destination country requires.

Then you must have the signed health certificate endorsed by your state’s Veterinary Services Area Office. The address and phone number are available at www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export, the Web site of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the agency that regulates movement of animals across state and country borders.

Bon voyage to you and Lady.

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