New Requirements In Virginia For Animals Entering The State

The new requirements went into effect January 18 and address health requirements.

Published on: Feb 17, 2012

If you want to bring an animal into Virginia from another state or country, then you need to be aware of some new regulations that are now in effect. As you might guess, these regulations are in place to protect the state's animal populations, notes the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which authorizes the rules.

The requirements cover virtually every type of animal, including birds, cattle, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, horses, ruminants, poultry, primates and swine. If one of those categories didn't cover the animal you want to bring in, then an additional category entitled "All other Animals" is sure to. The rules generally require all animals to be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection (generally obtained within 30 days before entry).

Upon his discretion, the State Veterinarian can prohibit by proclamation the entrance of any livestock or poultry into Virginia if he is informed about any unusual or serious outbreak of disease. He may also prohibit the entrance of any products defined in the meat or poultry inspection regulations of USDA, the Virginia Meat and Poultry Products Inspection, the Virginia Milk and Cream Law, or any other applicable or related Virginia statutes and regulations, except by permit.

Companion animals also require animal entry requirements (issued within 10 days prior to entry into the state). No dog or cat less than eight weeks of age can come into the state unless accompanies by its dam. A number of exemptions are allowed.

In their entirety the new rules are extensive and detailed; be sure to check details with the appropriate VDACS division. To learn more about the rules, visit www.vdacs.virginia.gov and click the link listed as Animal Admissions Requirements. You may also go directly to www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/admissions.shtml and follow the links from that page.