International import regulations for pet rabbits
Traveling internationally with a rabbit will require much more research and care than traveling domestically. Below are import regulations and other information for pet rabbits for various countries.
For importation of pet rabbits from countries other than the US, there are permit and quarantine requirements. See Import of Pet Rabbits from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information.
For exact import requirements from a specific country, use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).
For example, from the United Kingdom, import requirements include
The animal(s), donor animal(s) or thing(s) must originate from a premises certified free from myxomatosis. Animals being presented for importation must not be vaccinated with myxoma virus. Vaccines made with Shope Fibroma virus, however, are acceptable.
1)The premises of origin must have been free from any clinical or epidemiological evidence of myxomatosis for six months prior to the date of exportation.
The animal(s), donor animal(s) or thing(s) must originate from a premises certified free of rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease.
1)The animals or the source animals must have been born on or resident on the premises of origin for the ninety (90) days immediately preceding the date of export. No case of viral hemorrhagic disease (rabbit calicivirus disease) must have been diagnosed on the premises of origin during the ninety (90) days immediately preceding export.
The animals are certified free from rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD).
1)The animals must have been vaccinated, at least thirty (30) days but not more that ninety (90) days prior to being exported, with an inactivated rabbit calicivirus vaccine recognized for that purpose by the central veterinary authority of the country of origin. The name of the vaccine and date of vaccination must be stated on the health certificate and the certificate of vaccination must be appended. Or; the animal(s) must have been tested for VHD using ELISA or, where applicable, an alternate test acceptable to CFIA, within the thirty (30) days immediately preceding export.
Below are some experiences of rabbit parents who have flew into Canada with their pet rabbits.
- Bunny Lovers Unite. (2006). ssalomons
- Animal Rescue Korea. (2012). The How-to of Flying Your Pet Rabbit Home
All pet rabbits entering the Cayman Islands must be accompanied by an Import Permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture and a completed Official International Health Certificate issued within 14 days of arrival in the Cayman Islands by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by full-time salaried Veterinary Officer of the National Government of the country from which the animals are to be exported. See this form for more details.
There are currently no veterinary regulations for the private import of up to three pet rabbits to Germany.
Five or less pet rabbits can be imported into Guernsey for non-commercial purposes from the other Channel Islands, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and any other Member State of the European Union without an import license or any health requirements. Otherwise, a license is required to import them. The application for an import license is available here.
To import a rabbit from an EU member state, the animal must be accompanied by the owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner. A Form of Advance Notice of Import must be sent to the Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, at least 24 hrs in advance of arrival of consignment in Ireland. Lastly,
Small pet mammals may be imported into Ireland on foot of an import licence issued by this Department. However, the status of the country of export, particularly in regard to rabies will be taken into account before a licence can be issued. The pet(s) must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by registered private veterinary practitioner, certified within 5 days of departure stating that at the time of inspection the pet was free of all clinical signs of a contagious or infectious disease and is fit to travel. They must also be accompanied by a declaration signed by the owner stating that the animals have been born in captivity and have been kept in captivity since birth.
Ireland will also allow the importation of pet rabbits from certain non-EU countries provided they are accompanied by a Licence issued by the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department (requirements stated in previous paragraph).  An application, made at least 2 months beforehand, is needed to import for countries other than other than Andorra, Croatia, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City State. A Form of Advance Notice of Import is also required at least one working day prior to importation. Lastly, your rabbit will need to undergo a six-month quarantine at an officially approved premises.
Rabbits are currently not allowed to enter Mexico.
The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service states:
As of April 23, 2010 due to a report of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in the State of Minnesota, until further notice, Mexico will refuse entry of all rabbits (including pet rabbits) from the United States.
Make sure that your rabbits also meet all the import health standard requirements.
See the document for the Importation of Pet Animals - Small Mammals for exact requirements and AVA > Bringing Animals into Singapore and Exporting > Import, Export & Transshipment of Other Animals for a general overview of the process.
The owner must be able to prove that the rabbit has been kept for at least six months before import and be placed under quarantine for two weeks.
A direct flight to the UK from a non-EU country will require a 4 month quarantine and a rabies import license before your pet rabbit can join your home.
If you are willing to do some more work, you can evade the quarantine and other restrictions for your pet rabbit by travelling through a EU country before your destination. Some experiences and more information can be found in the following links.
- BunSpace, Chloe. (2011). How we got from New Jersey to England
- British Expats, ZiggyCo. (2011). Rabbit/Pet Passport Question
The following are some other general experiences about bring rabbits to the UK:
- Pultarova, T. (2012). Moving to London with a Rabbit
At this time, there are no health requirements or quarantines necessary for the importation of pet rabbits.
Below are some experiences of rabbit parents who have flew into the United States with their pet rabbits.
- BunSpace, Meadow_Empress of the Warren. (2010). Relocating four rabbits from England to California
- PetRelocation. (2016). Rabbit Travel Story: Amber's Relocation to the United States
- International export regulations for pet rabbits
- Rabbit-friendly airlines
- Rabbit-friendly transportation agencies
- Traveling with a rabbit
- Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry. (n.d.). Live Animals and Reproductive Material. Retrieved 25 Aug 25 2015 from http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/live-animals
- AQIS. (n.d.). Import case details - public listing > Rabbits, companion - Live. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://apps.daff.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_casecontent.asp?intNodeId=9070060&intCommodityId=6784&Types=none&WhichQuery=Go+to+full+text&intSearch=1&LogSessionID=0
- USDA APHIS. (n.d.). Conditions Governing The Importation Of Pet Rabbits, Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs And Chinchillas Into The Cayman Islands. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015 from https://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/downloads/cj_imp_various_pet(2).pdf
- German Missions in the United States. (n.d.). Pets: Cats, Dogs and Ferrets. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/05__Legal/02__Directory__Services/06__Customs/Pets/__Pets.html
- States of Guernsey. (n.d.). Pets > Pet Rabbits and Rodents. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://www.gov.gg/PetTravel#Pet%2520Rabbits%2520and%2520Rodents
- Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine. (n.d.). Pet Birds, Other Pets. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/petbirdsotherpets/
- Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine. (n.d.). 9. Animal Health and Welfare - Part 2 > Import Conditions for Small Mammals. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/publications/2010/schemesandservices2010-2011/9animalhealthandwelfare-part2/
- PetTravel.com. (n.d.). Mexico Pet Passport Regulations. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015 from http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/Mexico.cfm
- United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. (n.d.). Mexico. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015 from https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/sa_export_from_us/sa_live_animals/sa_international_regulations/sa_by_country/sa_m/ct_animal_mexico/!ut/p/a0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOK9_D2MDJ0MjDzdgy1dDTz9wtx8LXzMjf09TPQLsh0VAZdihIg!/
- New Zealand Government, Ministry for Primary Industries. (n.d.). Steps to importing pets other than cats & dogs. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://mpi.govt.nz/importing/live-animals/pets/steps-to-importing-pets-other-than-cats-and-dogs/
- Government of Singapore, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. (n.d.). Import, Export & Transshipment of Other Animals > Small Mammals. Retrieved 25 Aug 2015 from http://www.ava.gov.sg/explore-by-sections/pets-and-animals/bringing-animals-into-singapore-exporting/animals
- GOV.UK. (n.d.). Bringing food, animals or plants into the UK > Other animals. Retrieved 27 Nov 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/bringing-food-animals-plants-into-uk
- USDA. (n.d.). Import - Pets and Animals > Importation of Pets and Other Animals Into the United States. Retrieved Aug 2015 from https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/importexport?urile=wcm:path:/aphis_content_library/sa_our_focus/sa_import_export/sa_animals/sa_pet_travel/ct_animal_imports_pets