CVMA | Documents | What You Need to Know When Moving to a New Country or Continent With Your Pet

What You Need to Know When Moving to a New Country or Continent With Your Pet

August 9, 2017

Are you moving with your pet to a new country or continent? Below is some advice about the process you need to take to ensure you have all of the proper documents for your pet before arriving to your new destination.
The Government of Canada’s Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) handles most animal exports (ie. USA does not require CFIA certification for personal pets import). This ensures that only healthy animals that meet the import health requirements of an importing country are exported from Canada, and that they are transported in a humane manner. 

Step 1: 

You need an Animal Health Certificate for Export through the CFIA. You can find the appropriate certificate here.
Each country has its own set of import regulations and documentation requirements. Find out in advance what will be required. Close attention must be paid to all aspects of the import requirements, particular testing, fees and quarantine requirements that are applicable to your particular situation. 
If any part of the documentation is deemed unsatisfactory by the importing country, there is a risk of the following: 
  • extra disease testing
  • an extended quarantine stay
  • declined entry of the animal into the country
  • destruction of the animal
The CFIA website notes that if you are planning an export, contact your local Animal Health Office to get current import requirements, a copy of the export certificate and verify that the export certificate is still valid.

Step 2: 

In Canada, make an appointment with your private veterinarian who would need to fill out the export certificate first. Some district offices recommend that the certificate be faxed prior to the endorsement by a CFIA official veterinarian to ensure it has been filled out correctly. However, this does not necessarily occur in all district offices. Contact your local CFIA Animal Health office to find out the preferred process.

Step 3:

Set up an appointment to have the certificate signed by a CFIA veterinarian. Your local CFIA Animal Health office will help you set up the appointment. Please note that there is a fee for endorsement by a CFIA veterinarian.
Contact your local Animal Health office for any further questions on the process. 

List of Animal Health Offices: