Published Dec. 30, 2011 @ 6 a.m.
Did you know our animals require certain paper work or testing in order to move across county, state, or international lines? Over the past decade restrictions on animal movement have increased dramatically. Those involved in equine activities such as rodeo, roping, and showings have been the hardest hit with these limitations. However, it is not just horses that may have traveling restrictions enforced. Our small animals can also be included.
In most situations traveling by car with your dog or cat will be fine as long as you have their current rabies certificate with you. Flying by airplane is a different story since most of the time you will need a Health Certificate for that animal. Notice I said most of the time. Some situations don’t call for a health certificate so always check with the airline you’ll be traveling with since they may have additional restrictions as well. If you are going to be taking your small pets out of country (or out of the continental 48 states), then you will need additional paper work and testing. Some of these tests take a few months to achieve if you do not have the required shots or if you are trying to move a puppy.
Our equine friends have a few more regulations on movement. By law moving a horse across a county line requires a Coggins test….yup, I said COUNTY! A Coggins test is for Equine Infectious Anemia which is a very contagious, non-treatable disease. In most situations, if you are traveling within Texas a Coggins test is all that is required. If you are caught traveling without a current Coggins test, it is a Class C misdemeanor. If you or going to a rodeo or horse show, they may require a health certificate in addition to the Coggins. Taking your horse across state lines may require additional paper work or testing such as piroplasmosis. Piroplasmosis requirements have increased noticeably just in the past 2 years. This test is costly and takes awhile to get results back. Moving a horse into another country is very difficult and requires even more test and paper work.
For cattle each state requires different information and paper work. Some states require just a simple health certificate, and some require special testing or paper work. Since Texas is Brucellosis and Tuberculosis free, the movement of cattle has become easier. Currently there is no paper work or test required to move within Texas.
A good rule of thumb is to check with your local veterinarian if you are traveling with your pet. This is especially important for those traveling with horses and cattle outside of Texas. Each state has their own requirements on animal movement from Texas, and these requirements can change from week to week. I personally call that state to find out what the restrictions are at that time (even if I sent an animal there two weeks prior). The last thing I want to happen is for my client to be stuck somewhere and not be able to cross a state line or get into a show or competition due to improper paper work.