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Diseases & Topics

Import/Export Requirements for Dogs, Cats & Ferrets

Importation Requirements

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the importation into the United States of animals capable of causing human disease. Pet dogs, cats, birds and turtles are included in CDC's current regulations External link. North Carolina has additional regulations for importing animals into our state. As of October 1, 2009, North Carolina General Statute 130A-193 External link requires that all domestic dogs, cats, and ferrets entering North Carolina must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of the date of entry into the state, and animals four months of age and older must also have a current rabies vaccination and rabies certificate.

If a domestic dog, cat or ferret four months of age or older enters North Carolina and is not currently vaccinated against rabies, the animal must be vaccinated against rabies within one week of entry and remain confined for two weeks after vaccination. If a dog, cat or ferret is less than three months old upon entry into the state, the animal may be imported but can be vaccinated when it is three months of age with an approved USDA licensed vaccine according to the manufacturer's package insert. All animals vaccinated with USDA-licensed rabies vaccines, administered by a licensed veterinarian, and accompanied by a current rabies certificate verifying this, are recognized.

In further efforts to reduce animal-borne disease risks to the public health, North Carolina also restricts the sale of turtles (10A NCAC 41A .0302 External link), which can pass salmonellosis to humans, and requires retail sellers of birds to maintain a record of the name and address of the purchaser of each sale for at least six months after the sale (10A NCAC 41A .0303 External link).

Exportation Requirements

Dogs and cats being exported from North Carolina to another state are subject to USDA regulations External link as well as to the import requirements of the state receiving the animals. Current import requirements for other states can be obtained from the State Veterinarian for that state. US APHIS: Find a State Veterinary Services Area Office. External link

Dogs and cats being exported from North Carolina to a foreign country are subject to USDA International Animal Export Regulations External link as well as to the import requirements of the country receiving the animals.

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