Border Crossing

Traveling with Birds

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a service to our visitors and no guarantee is made as to its completeness or correctness. All information should be independently verified with the relevant authorities.

Both the U.S. and Canada have increased their scrutiny of imported birds due to a worldwide increase of avian flu infestations. The import regulations differ slightly for each country.

The United States

Birds imported from Canada to the U.S. are exempt from quarantine requirements. However, all birds must be examined by a United States Department of Agriculture port veterinarian at the time of entry. Birds that are imported via land crossing do not require an import permit but do require examination. Birds that are imported via air or sea require both an import permit and an examination by a port veterinarian.

Visitors and returning citizens should be aware that only certain border crossings and ports have veterinarians on staff, and they generally are not present on weekends and holidays. Therefore, bird owners are advised to either pre-schedule the inspection or verify inspection hours prior to crossing the border. Otherwise, you may find yourself with an unplanned overnight stop waiting for the veterinarian's offices to open.

Canada

Canada treats parrots and song birds differently from other forms of wild and domesticated fowl. In general however, the bird must be free of communicable disease in order to enter the country.

Parrots and song birds may be imported if the animal is accompanying the owner. The owner must make a formal declaration that: the bird is a) a pet and not for resale, b) has not been in contact with other birds, c) has been in the owner's possession for at least 90 days preceding the date of entry.

Certification is required for the importation of other fowl. The certification must verify that the bird is free of communicable diseases, especially various strains of avian flues and salmonella.

More Information

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) telephone numbers for customer service:

  • Local: 202-354-1000

  • Toll-free (from US): 1-877-227-5511.

Also see telephone numbers listed under "Ports of Entry". For additional information, please visit either of the following web sites:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

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