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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Import: Bring Live Animals Into the United States

There are many different processes involved with importing different species of regulated live animals into the United States, including guidelines and regulations, permits and certification, and associated user fees.

Application Process for Live Animal Import Permits*: Importers may submit an online application for an import or transit permit for APHIS-regulated live animals and their reproductive tissue (genetic resources) using the VS Form 17-129 through the APHIS eFile system

Effective May 31, 2022, APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) will require submission of all new and renewal permit applications for live animals and animal products, organisms, and vectors - via the APHIS eFile system.

* Allow 7-10 business days to process a live animal import permit application.

** Also check with individual state(s) regarding specific laws for the species of animal you wish to import **

  • U.S. transits are classified as shipments presented to a U.S. port of entry for conveyance purposes to then be transported to a destination country shortly after.
  • Please note that any animals and their germplasm transiting the US must not transit countries with questionable disease statuses prior to reaching a U.S. port of entry.
  • All transits require a contingency plan. Please submit your contingency plan with your permit application (VS 17-129) on the APHIS eFile website or via email at

Approved Immediate Slaughter Facilities is a comprehensive listing of slaughter plants inspected and approved by USDA APHIS to receive the listed livestock from Canada or Mexico for “Direct to Slaughter” purposes.


photo of cows in grassy field

Ruminants & Germplasm

Bison | Camelids | Cattle | Cervids | Goats | Sheep | Water Buffalo | Yak

Contact Us

If you have any questions or require further information related to imports of live animals, birds, or germplasm, please call (301) 851-3300, Option #2, or send an email to:

If you are traveling with your pet, please visit the APHIS Pet Travel Website.
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