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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Pet Travel - Find an Accredited Veterinarian

All veterinarians practicing medicine must be licensed in the state they work. When pets travel internationally, many countries require an international health certificate to be issued (completed, signed and dated) by a veterinarian and then endorsed (countersigned and embossed/ stamped) by APHIS. When APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required, the veterinarian that issues the health certificate must be USDA Accredited. The USDA National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) is voluntary; USDA Accredited Veterinarians have completed training in the state(s) they are licensed in to have this qualification.  Generally, any licensed veterinarian can issue health certificates for pets that do not require APHIS endorsement, including for pets traveling interstate.

To find out if your pet’s local veterinarian is USDA Accredited, call them and ask. If they are not, here are some suggestions to help you find a USDA Accredited Veterinarian in your area:

  • Ask if another doctor in the practice is.
  • Ask your veterinarian to recommend one. 
  • Conduct an internet search of veterinarians in your ZIP code or local area and call to ask them if any of the veterinarians are USDA Accredited. 
  • Contact your state’s NVAP Coordinator for a list of accredited veterinarians near you. 

: If you are traveling with or shipping a pet bird, make sure that your veterinarian has the appropriate accreditation status (Category II) for completion of international health certificates for birds.


♦ It is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their pet has met the requirements of the destination country.

♦ Failure to meet the requirements may result in problems gaining certificate endorsement or difficulties upon arrival in the destination country.

♦ Health certificates must be legible, accurate, and complete.

Helpful References for Pet Travel

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