PCSing with Pets

FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 19, 2013) -- If you have pets and are gearing up for a PCS move, here are some things to know regarding Department of Defense regulations about how to properly transport your pets.

LIMITS AND COSTS

Up to two pets -- cats and dogs only -- are allowed per Family when traveling with their owners on Air Mobility Command flights, said Derrick Candler, installation transportation officer for the Logistic Readiness Center.

It costs to travel with pets. An individual pet must weigh 99 pounds or less, including the carrier, Candler said. Pets up to 70 pounds cost $80 and pets between 71 and 99 pounds are $160 per pet.

If you have more than two pets, you need a waiver in order to transport them, he said.

"There are no travel entitlements for pet transportation or pet preparation for travel," Candler said.

TRAVEL DURING THE SUMMER

"Pet travel may be problematic depending on the season," he said. "Summer months are typically high travel months, and space is at a premium. AMC has already announced that pet spaces will be extremely limited for the next few months and almost non-existent for the month of July."

A 14-day travel window is required, Candler said, because there may not be space available on the travel date you request for your pets. Remaining flexible will give you a better chance of your pets getting on AMC flights.

If you aren't able to get pet space on AMC, he said you can request commercial travel, but you will be responsible for costs that exceed the cost of the contract carrier.

Pet owners should also be aware that some U.S air carriers have announced a pet embargo that began May 15 and ends Sept. 15, Candler said.

"Service members or employees should personally confirm all pet travel arrangements in the event of short notification by airlines, which could change pet shipment plans," he said. "A simple phone call to check can make all the difference."

TRAVELING WITH PETS

EUROPEAN UNION

Pet dogs, cats and ferrets must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785 or the appropriate microchip reader must be provided along with the pet. Microchip implantation must occur prior to rabies vaccination. Any rabies vaccination that occurs prior to microchip implantation is not considered valid regardless of whether the animal was up-to-date on its previous rabies vaccines. In this case, the animal must be revaccinated. Twenty-one days must have elapsed after the first (primary) vaccination after implantation of the microchip before the animal is eligible to enter the European Union. A rabies vaccination is considered primary if either:

• An animal was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination but vaccination occurred prior to microchip implantation

• Vaccination was not carried out within the period of validity of a previous vaccination

• The animal was vaccinated for the first time.
Rabies vaccination is not required for pet dogs, cats and ferrets under 3 months of age, but not all EU Member States allow import of such animals. Import of unvaccinated animals must be authorized by the EU Member State. The exporter should contact the animal health authorities in the Member State for authorization, and documentation of authorization should be attached to the export certificate.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Korea requires that pets (including military pets/dogs) be current on their rabies vaccine (given at least 30 days prior to arrival in Korea), have an ISO-compliant microchip, receive a rabies-neutralization antibody test (0.5 IU/ml or higher), and be accompanied by a valid health certificate including government endorsement.

If the rabies neutralization antibody test and the microchip implantation could not be done prior to shipping, they can be done after arrival in Korea. However, even in this case, a valid U.S. Department of Agriculture endorsed health certificate is required. Additionally, for pets less than 90 days old, no vaccination against rabies or rabies neutralization antibody test is needed but a valid endorsed health certificate is still required.

HAWAII

Hawaii is a rabies-free state. Dogs and cats must go through an inspection upon arriving at Honolulu International Airport. Hawaii law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for a five-day-or-less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection.

For details about qualifying for the five-day-or-less quarantine program, visit http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-information-page. Animals that do not meet this requirement, will be held in quarantine for up to 120 days.

ALASKA

For cats, dogs and ferrets entering Alaska, these animals require a current rabies vaccination if 3 months of age or older and a small animal health certificate within 30 days of import. Persons with animals coming from a rabies quarantine area or those that cannot be vaccinated for rabies are required to call the state veterinarian office in Anchorage, Alaska, at 907-375-8215 for issuance of a permit number.

Animals that cannot be vaccinated for rabies must have an Exemption From Rabies Vaccination Form signed by the examining veterinarian, the owner and approved by the state of Alaska. For more information, visit http://dec.alaska.gov/eh/vet/pets.htm.

For other locations, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals

Sources: Hawaii Department of Agriculture, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, The Office of Alaska's State Veterinarian

Page last updated Thu June 20th, 2013 at 13:42