The Texas Animal Health Commission regulates the entry of many livestock, poultry and exotic livestock species into the state and for interstate shows and exhibitions.
State and Federal rules regarding animal movement, travel, entry and show requirements, and international import and export can be complex and involve more than one government agency, but the goal is always the same – to ensure the health of animals in our state.
Interstate & Intrastate Movement
Poultry Movement Notice:
- Live poultry entering Texas from an avian influenza affected state must have a negative test within 72 hours of entry and receive specific TAHC permission granting this movement.
- Prior to movement, all individuals moving poultry into Texas must call the TAHC at 512-719-0777 for Texas entry requirements (i.e. certificate of veterinary inspection, entry permit, testing, etc.).
Equine, Bovine, Porcine, Caprine, Ovine, Cervid Vesicular Stomatitis Movement Notice:
- Equine, bovine, porcine, caprine, ovine, or cervidae may not enter Texas from a premise or area under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis. All equine, bovine, porcine, caprine, ovine, or cervidae from a vesicular stomatitis affected state must have a certificate of veterinary inspection issued within 14 days of the date of entry into Texas. A copy of the certificate of veterinary inspection must accompany such animal shipments at all times.
- Texas animals moving out of state: Prior to shipping livestock during a VSV outbreak, check with the state of destination to ensure all entry requirements have been met. Confirmed cases of VSV must be reported to interstate and international trading partners, which may result in restrictions, additional inspections or testing requirements.
- Visit the USDA Vesicular Stomatitis webpage and most recent situational report to check your state's VSV status.
- Texas VSV Current Situation Updates may be found on the TAHC Vesicular Stomatitis Virus webpage.
Please find the TAHC's movement requirements organized by species. The movement summaries available serve as an unofficial summary of TAHC movement requirements. For official movement requirements please refer to the TAHC rules or call the Permits Help Desk at 512-719-0777.
|Exotics & Ratites
To move animals or animal products from Texas into other states, contact the state of destination. A downloadable list of contact information for all 50 state animal health agencies may be found on the U.S. Animal Health Association website or on the USDA website.
Movement Requirements for Exhibition & Event Animals
Animals entering livestock shows, fairs, exhibitions, rodeos, and events in Texas must comply with TAHC's movement requirements. The resource to the left outlines the interstate and intrastate requirements for all species participating in such events, and the documents below summarize requirements and answer common questions.
- Compliance Guide: General Requirements for Youth Exhibitions & Events
- FAQ: Texas Youth Livestock Exhibitions & Events
It is important to note, fairs, livestock shows, and exhibitions can add additional health requirements for animals attending their events. Check with the event organizer before you go. To learn more about shows and fairs in your area, please contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent.
International Export and Import
Exporting an animal from the US requires specific documentation and possible testing in advance, and may take weeks or months of preparation. You should begin by contacting a USDA accredited private veterinary practitioner to assist you in the process. Most licensed veterinarians are accredited, so start by discussing this with your personal veterinarian. You or your veterinary practitioner should then contact the USDA Veterinary Services (VS) office in Austin as early as possible to receive specific instructions and entry requirements for the country to which you wish to ship animals. Generally, an international health certificate is issued by a private local veterinarian and then sent to the USDA-VS office in Austin. All paperwork is subsequently approved by that office (you do not actually have to take your pet to the Austin office) and returned to the veterinarian.
For exporting animals and animal germplasm out of the United States from Texas, contact the USDA APHIS VS Texas export staff in Austin at email@example.com or (512) 383-2411 Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4pm. For exporting animal products out of the United States from Texas please contact USDA-VS at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 751-1701
Useful Export website links:
- USDA APHIS VS Import and Export or call (512) 383-2411
There are many different processes involved with importing species of live animals into the United States. U.S. import procedures are generally regulated by federal rules and agencies, rather than state entities. If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports of live animals, birds or germplasm, please contact National Center for Import and Export at email VS.Live.Animal.Import.Export@aphis.usda.gov or call (301) 851-3300 option 2.
Please make sure you have met all TAHC entry requirements for livestock. View the TAHC entry requirements by clicking on the appropriate species button. See also Dog & Cat link for more pet import info.
Useful Import Links:
- USDA-APHIS National Center for Import and Export or call (301) 851-3300 option 2
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — CDC regulates the international importation of dogs, cats, bats, turtles, monkeys, civets, African rodents, and birds from certain countries.
- AVMA Resources
Miscellaneous Permits & Import/Export Links
The Department of State Health Services has requirements for keeping animals that are classified as dangerous animals in the state of Texas. This could include a dangerous dog, a lion, a tiger, an ocelot, a cougar, a leopard, a cheetah, a jaguar, a bobcat, a lynx, a serval, a caracal, a hyena, a bear, a coyote, a jackal, a baboon, a chimpanzee, an orangutan, a gorilla, or any hybrid of an animal listed.) For more information, see the DSHS website.
Texas Parks and Wildlife requires permits for the possession or rehabilitation of a variety of wild animal species in Texas including but not limited to: fur-bearing species (badger, beaver, all fox, mink, muskrat, nutria, opossum, otter, raccoon, ring-tailed cat, all skunks), raptors/falcons/birds of prey, certain turtles, and other fish and wildlife. For more information, visit the TPW website or call (512) 389-4800.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Law Enforcement Division, Fish and Wildlife Services , has responsibility pertaining to the importation of reptiles, fish, and endangered species. For more information, visit the Fish and Wildlife Services website.