IMPORTING ANIMALS INTO WISCONSIN
Animal imports must comply with regulations established by the State of Wisconsin and the federal government. If you are importing animals from another nation, please contact the USDA or other appropriate agency for more information.
If you are moving animals out of Wisconsin to another state or nation, you must meet the import requirements of the place where the animals are being sent. Animal movement rules are determined by the destination state or country. Wisconsin has no animal export regulations, unless the animal is returning to Wisconsin, in which case it will need to meet the import requirements for its species.
With very few exceptions, all animals brought into Wisconsin need a certificate of veterinary inspection, also known as a CVI or health certificate. This is an official document that says a licensed veterinarian has examined the animals and found them to be healthy for travel. In some cases, the veterinarian must also attest that the animals have not been exposed to disease or must provide proof of negative tests or vaccinations for specific diseases. This applies to all types of animals, from livestock to wild species and menagerie animals and pets brought into Wisconsin in personal vehicles and animals purchased from sources outside the state. Per federal law, the veterinarian must issue the CVI within 10 days of examining the animal, and CVIs are good for 30 days from the date the animal is examined (not the date the CVI is written).
(Exceptions: Imports that do not require a CVI are:
- animals being brought to a veterinary facility for treatment that will return to the state of origin with no change of ownership;
- equines from Minnesota participating in a trail ride or other event that will be in Wisconsin for less than seven (7) days with no change in ownership (see the equine page for additional information);
- animals imported to a federally approved livestock import market; and
- animals sent directly to a slaughter establishment.)
If tests are required for animal movement, the test results must be current and complete - not out-of-date or "pending."
Some imports also require an import permit
. The import permit process involves faxing or emailing to the import coordinator the appropriate, completed permit application form and a copy of the CVI. You can download a permit application form here
or request a permit application by calling 608-224-4874 weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Central Time. Import permits are issued during the department’s regular business hours. There is no option for obtaining permits after-hours or during weekends or furlough days, so please plan ahead.
There are a small number of animals that may not be imported into Wisconsin because the species are known disease carriers. Other animals must have permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Please visit the WDNR website for more information.