So, you want your pet bird(s) to travel in cargo? Well, believe it or not, the process and procedures are like preparing a pet dog or cat for transport in cargo.
The pet owner must ensure that their pet bird meets the entry requirements of the destination state/country AND comply with the live animal policies of the airline. If traveling in cargo domestically, a health certificate (and maybe other additional documentation) is required for interstate movement of pet birds. When traveling in cargo internationally, an international health certificate (and maybe other additional documentation) is required for the international movement of the pet birds. These documents must be issued by a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
For more information on the documentary requirements, please visit the USDA Pet Travel website, review the pet travel policies of the airline, and refer to the destination state/country for their pet entry requirements.
Now, let's focus on the shipping container requirements for pet birds. There's minimal guidance on what type of crate to utilize when transporting pet birds in cargo. Because of this, many pet bird owners have unknowingly placed their bird in danger during air travel.
Big NO-NOs I've seen include:
For all animals being transported via cargo, the shipping container/crate must properly contain and protect the animal. It must also promote animal welfare and promote safe transport. All animals being transported via cargo must be shipped in containers that comply with IATA-LAR.
MUST HAVE for a proper crate:
Container requirement #13 provides the specific requirements needed to ship the following pet birds:
A rigid plastic pet crate can be used for transport; however, the crate must meet the requirements of CR#1 (LAR-49-EN-Press (iata.org) and be modified in accordance with CR#13.
CR#13 Modifications include:
Prior to travel, make sure the pet bird is acclimated to confinement in the shipping container, and deemed medically fit for travel by your veterinarian.If you need further guidance, please contact Dr. Nelva J. Bryant of When Pets Fly at: