Information for Travelers Who Visit Farms or Come Into Contact with Animals in Other Countries
U.S. citizens and international visitors who visit a farm or make contact with live animals in another country can unknowingly spread potentially devastating animal diseases.
Before entering the United States, travelers should:
- Launder all clothing worn at the farm or while in contact with animals,
- Remove any dirt or debris from shoes, equipment, or other articles before packing them,
- Shower or bathe, wash hair, clean finger nails, and clear nasal passages (blow nose), and
- Answer “yes” to question 11 on the Customs Declaration Form (Form 6059B). If necessary, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials will provide additional information or instructions to prevent the introduction or spread of animal diseases.
If you are traveling with a pet or other small animal, please visit our Pet Travel page for additional information on how to safely bring a pet into the United States.
Animal disease outbreaks occur regularly all over the world, and travelers may not know when an outbreak has occurred. Some animal diseases (such as foot-and-mouth disease, avian or swine influenza, African horse sickness, and many other serious conditions of livestock and other animals) can survive and remain infectious for up to a week on clothing, shoes, and other items. The diseases, while they may not affect people, can also be carried on skin, hair, under finger nails, and in nasal passages. In addition, pets, such as dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals, can carry these diseases without showing any signs of illness.