Importing Pets from Outside Wisconsin
A “household pet” is an animal from a traditional companion animal species: dog, domestic cat, ferret, hedgehog, pet bird, rabbit, or domestic rodent (gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, or domestic mouse or rat). All other animals kept as pets, including dog hybrids, domestic cat hybrids, and exotic small cat species such as servals, are either considered livestock or exotic pets.
“Importing” refers to animals being brought into Wisconsin during vacation travel as well as animals relocating permanently into the state.
- Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with physical destination address
- Current rabies vaccination for dogs and domestic housecats five months and older with date of vaccination and revaccination due date written on the CVI
- Testing or other statements on the CVI
- Import permit number
A CVI is required for animals entering Wisconsin by any mode of transportation – automobile, airplane, rail, etc.
Wisconsin accepts both valid one-year and three-year rabies vaccines, which must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. If you have questions, call 608-224-4874 weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
For ferrets, pet birds, rabbits, or common rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, etc.), there are no tests or statements required.
For household pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the United States, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at (404) 639-3311 or visit the CDC website. You should also visit the USDA website to find any information not covered on the CDC website.
Wisconsin does not have additional requirements to those listed above in the “Required” section as long as the animals meet the CDC import requirements.
Importing Exotic Pets
An “exotic pet” is any companion animal other than a dog, domestic housecat, ferret, hedgehog, pet bird, rabbit, or domestic rodent (gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, or domestic mouse or rat).
- Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with physical destination address
- Official individual ID (if available)
- Import permit number
- Testing or vaccinations for most exotic pet species, such as monkeys, sugar gliders, reptiles, amphibians, etc.
For exotic pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the United States, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at 404-639-3311 or visit the CDC website. You should also visit the USDA website to find any information not covered on the CDC website. Wisconsin does not have additional requirements to those listed above as long as the animals meet the CDC import requirements.
Some animal species that have been kept as pets may not be imported into Wisconsin because they are known carriers of highly contagious diseases. They are North American prairie dogs and the following African-origin species: tree squirrels, rope squirrels, dormice, Gambian giant pouched rats, brush-tailed porcupines, and striped mice.
For all other species, it is not determined on the state level if it is legal to own a particular animal species. WDATCP strongly encourages you to contact your local government officials (county, township, and municipality) to determine their regulations on animal ownership.
In addition, some animals may need permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Please visit the WDNR website for more information.
To get an import permit number:
- Determine if you need a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
When the application is complete, a permit number will be faxed or emailed back to you. Be sure to write the permit number on the CVI.
Moving Pets Within Wisconsin
Wisconsin does not have specific testing or paperwork requirements for moving pet animals within the state. For pet pigs, please visit the swine movement page. For pet or backyard poultry or game birds, please see the poultry and game bird movement page.
Exporting Pets Out of Wisconsin
Wisconsin does not have specific export requirements for pets. Please contact the state or nation of destination to learn the import requirements.
If you are planning to take a companion animal out of the United States, you can learn important information on the USDA-APHIS web page for international animal export regulations.
Most certificates of veterinary inspection for animals leaving the United States for another country need to be signed by a USDA veterinarian (not the Wisconsin state veterinarian). Please call the Madison office of the USDA at 608-662-0600 to confirm your CVI is complete before you travel to the USDA office in Madison to get the signature. The USDA veterinarians will not sign incomplete or inaccurate CVIs.
All State CVI Requirements:
Link to Regulations:
ATCP 10.06 Certificate of veterinary inspection.
(1) WHEN REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided in par. (c), a certificate of veterinary inspection shall accompany every animal imported into this state.
(b) A certificate of veterinary inspection is not required for movement of animals within this state, except as specifically provided in this chapter or ch. ATCP 12 or 16.
Note: A certificate of veterinary inspection may be required under this chapter, or ch. ATCP 12 or 16 for the sale or movement of certain animals within this state. See, for example, s. ATCP 10.56 (1) related to intrastate movement of farm-raised deer, s. ATCP 10.87 (3) related to intrastate movement of swine to fairs or exhibitions, and s. ATCP 16.16 related to sales of dogs by licensed dog sellers or dog facility operators.
(c) A certificate of veterinary inspection is not required under par. (a) for imports of the following animals, unless a certificate is required in a particular case under s. ATCP 10.07:
1. A bovine animal that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.22 (1) (b).
2. A swine that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.30 (1) (b).
3. An equine animal that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.36 (2).
4. A sheep that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.69 (2).
5. A goat that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.76 (1) (b).
6. A farm-raised deer that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.55 (2).
7. A ratite that is exempt under s. ATCP 10.83 (2).
8. Fish imported in compliance with s. ATCP 10.62.
9. An invertebrate imported in compliance with ss. 94.01 and 94.03, Stats., and ch. ATCP 21.
10. An animal that is imported directly to a veterinary facility for treatment, and returned directly to its state of origin immediately after treatment, with no change in ownership.
11. An animal returning to its place of origin in this state, with no change of ownership, immediately after receiving veterinary treatment in another state.
(2) WHO MAY ISSUE. An accredited veterinarian shall prepare and sign a certificate of veterinary inspection, except that a Wisconsin certified veterinarian shall prepare and sign a certificate issued in Wisconsin.
(3) FORM. (a) A certificate of veterinary inspection shall be issued on a form provided by, or approved by, the department, the federal bureau, or the state in which the certificate is issued. Except as required under this chapter, or ch. ATCP 12 or 16, a certificate issued in this state shall be issued on a form provided by, or approved by, the department.
Note: A certificate of veterinary inspection issued in another state for fish imported to this state must be issued on a form provided by, or approved by, the department. See s. ATCP 10.65 (1). A certificate of veterinary inspection issued for intrastate movement from a licensed dog seller or dog facility operator must be on a form issued by the department. See s. ATCP 16.16.
(b) A Wisconsin certified veterinarian may obtain Wisconsin certificate of veterinary inspection forms from the department. There is a fee of $5.60 for each interstate movement form, and $0.60 for each intrastate movement form.
Note: A Wisconsin certified veterinarian may obtain forms under par. (b) by contacting the department at the following address:
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Division of Animal Health
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911
Phone: (608) 224-4872
Fax: (608) 224-4871
(4) CONTENTS. Except as required by other applicable provisions of law, a certificate of veterinary inspection related to a shipment of animals shall include all of the following:
(a) The number, species, breed, sex, and age of the animals included in the shipment.
(b) Official individual identification of each animal in the shipment, if required under this chapter or ch. ATCP 12. The department may require official individual identification of animals in a particular shipment, pursuant to s. ATCP 10.07, regardless of whether official individual identification is otherwise required.
(c) The name, telephone number, if available, and address of the person shipping the animals.
(d) The following information related to the premises from which the animals are shipped:
1. The premises address.
2. The livestock premises code, if any.
3. Relevant health certification numbers issued by the state of origin, if the certificate of veterinary inspection represents that the state of origin has certified the health status of animals on the premises.
(e) The name and address of the person receiving the animals.
(f) The address, and the livestock premises code if any, of the premises where the animals will be received.
(g) The number of any permit required under s. ATCP 10.07 (2) or 10.08 (3).
(h) Other information required under this chapter for the import or movement of the animal.
Note: This chapter requires additional information for the import or movement of certain animals. Required information may include diagnostic test results, vaccination status, the disease status of the herd or flock of origin, or the disease status of the state of origin. The department may also require additional information, for particular import shipments, under s. ATCP 10.07. Also see s. ATCP 16.16 which requires different information for a certificate of veterinary inspection for dogs moved intrastate.
(i) The following statement, or one substantially similar: “I certify, as a veterinarian, that I have inspected the animals identified on this certificate and that the animals are not showing signs of contagious or infectious disease, except where noted. Vaccinations and test results are as indicated on the certificate. To the best of my knowledge, the animals identified on this certificate meet applicable federal and state of destination requirements.”
(j) The veterinarian’s signature and date of signature.
(5) CERTIFICATE VALID FOR 30 DAYS. A certificate of veterinary inspection is valid for 30 days from the date of inspection unless the department specifies a different expiration date under s. ATCP 10.07 (1) (b) or (2).
(6) FILING COPIES OF CERTIFICATE. (a) If this chapter requires a certificate of veterinary inspection to accompany animals imported to this state, the veterinarian who signs the certificate shall also file copies with the department and the chief livestock health official in the state of origin. The veterinarian shall file the copies within 7 days after issuance.
(b) Whenever a Wisconsin certified veterinarian issues a certificate of veterinary inspection for export or intrastate movement of Wisconsin animals, the veterinarian shall file a copy of the certificate with the department within 7 days after the export or intrastate movement. If the animals are being exported, the veterinarian shall also file a copy of the certificate with the chief livestock health official of the state of destination.
(c) Whenever the department receives a certificate of veterinary inspection under sub. (1) for imported wild animals, the department shall forward a copy of that certificate to the department of natural resources.
Note: Intrastate certificates of veterinary inspection issued under s. ATCP 16.16 (dog sales; certificate of veterinary inspection) are not required to be filed with the department.
(7) ANIMAL IMPORTED TO CONSIGNMENT SALE. (a) If an animal is imported on consignment to a livestock dealer or market operator, for sale on behalf of an out-of-state seller, any required certificate of veterinary inspection that accompanies the imported animal shall continue to accompany that animal until the purchaser receives the animal.
(b) Whenever a Wisconsin certified veterinarian issues a certificate of veterinary inspection for an imported animal sold on consignment in this state, the certificate may incorporate pertinent health information from the certificate that accompanied the imported animal. The veterinarian may issue the certificate on the same certification form if the form is specifically designed for that purpose, or the veterinarian may issue a separate certificate that includes the following statement or one substantially similar:
“The vaccination record, test results, and source herd information on this certificate have been copied from the incoming certificate of veterinary inspection that was issued by (accredited veterinarian), who certified the information at (address and state of origin) on (date). A copy of the incoming certificate is attached.”
(c) Within 7 days after a Wisconsin certified veterinarian issues a certificate of veterinary inspection under par. (b), that veterinarian shall file with the department copies of that certificate and the certificate that accompanied the imported animal under par. (a).
Note: Certificates of veterinary inspection issued for dogs imported into this state and dogs sold by licensed dog sellers or dog facility operators need to comply with ss. ATCP 10.80 and 16.16. Copies of intrastate certificates of veterinary inspection on dogs are not required to be filed with the department.
History: CR 06-009: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; CR 07-061: am. (3) (b) Register June 2008 No. 630, eff. 7-1-08; CR 10-100: am. (1) (b) Register May 2011 No. 665, eff. 6-1-11; CR 11-048: am. (1) (b), (3) (a), (4) (intro.), (c), (5) Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 13-058: r. (1) (c) 12., am. (6) (a) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 6-1-14.
ATCP 10.84 Wild animal imports.
(1) IMPORT REQUIREMENTS; GENERAL. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), no person may import a wild animal to this state unless all of the following apply:
1. The person holds an import permit under s. ATCP 10.07 (2) for that import.
2. The animal is accompanied by a valid certificate of veterinary inspection.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to any of the following:
1. An invertebrate imported in compliance with ss. 94.01 and 94.03, Stats., and ch. ATCP 21.
2. A domestic animal identified in s. ATCP 10.02.
Note: Domestic animals are subject to other import regulations under this chapter.
(2) HARMFUL WILD ANIMALS. The department may not issue a permit under s. ATCP 10.07 (2) for a wild animal import requiring department of natural resources authorization under s. 169.11 (1) (c), Stats., unless the department of natural resources has given that authorization.
(3) IMPORTS PROHIBITED. Except as provided in sub. (4), no person may import any of the following animals to this state:
(a) Prairie dogs.
(b) Any of the following rodents from Africa:
1. Tree squirrels.
2. Rope squirrels.
4. Gambian giant pouched rat.
5. Brush-tailed porcupine.
6. Striped mice.
(4) EXEMPTIONS. The department may issue an import permit under s. ATCP 10.07 (2) for an animal identified in sub. (3) if all of the following apply:
(a) The department complies with sub. (2).
(b) One of the following applies:
1. The animal is imported directly to an institution accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums, or to a wildlife exhibition licensed by USDA.
2. The animal is imported directly to a research facility that, in the department’s judgment, is a bona fide research facility.
3. The animal is imported directly to a veterinary facility for treatment, provided that the animal is returned to its place of origin immediately after treatment and there is no change of ownership while the animal is in this state.
4. The animal is returning directly to this state following veterinary treatment in another state, provided there was no change of ownership while the animal was outside this state.
History: CR 06-009: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; CR 13-058: am. (4) (b) 1. Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 6-1-14.