Pet Movement

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What is considered a household pet?

​A household pet is an animal from a traditional domestic companion animal species, such as:
  • Dog
  • Domestic cat
  • Ferret
  • Chinchilla
  • Hedgehog
  • Pet bird
  • Rabbit
  • Domestic rodents, such as:
    • Gerbil
    • Guinea pig
    • Hamster,
    • Domestic mouse or rat
Household pets do not include:

What is considered an exotic pet?

An exotic pet is any companion animal other than a household pet. See the exotic animal movement webpage for movement 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. A list of these animals is provided on the wild animal movement webpage under "prohibited animals."

Note: It is not determined on the state level if it is legal to own a particular animals species. DATCP strongly encourages you to contact your local government officials (e.g., county, township, municipality) to determine their regulations on animal ownership. Some animals may require permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Bringing Household Pets to Wisconsin

Importing refers to animals brought to Wisconsin for events, shows, and vacation travel, as well as animals relocating permanently to the state.

Make sure you have reviewed examples of household and exotic pets above. Import requirements for household pets are below. Import requirements for exotic pets are on the exotic animal movement webpage for movement requirements.

Import Requirements for Household Pets

Information specifically for rabbits

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 (RHDV2) has been confirmed in other states including Minnesota. RHDV2 has not been detected in Wisconsin. There are currently no restrictions on rabbit imports or movements within Wisconsin. 

Those who choose to import rabbits are required to meet Wisconsin's import requirements which include obtaining a certificate of veterinary inspection. Animals, including rabbits, showing signs of infectious or contagious disease are not eligible for import. It is further recommended to follow biosecurity practices including the consideration of vaccination in states in which vaccine is approved. More information can be found on DATCP's RHDV2 page.

For all household pets including rabbits:

You must provide a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) when importing a household pet. A CVI is required for animals entering Wisconsin by any mode of transportation, such as automobile, airplane or rail.

DATCP no longer accepts the computer-generated APHIS 7001 form, which has no preprinted CVI number. Older, multicopy forms with printed numbers are still accepted.

Alternative CVI forms are listed below; payment may be required. Some options may not be available in your state. Call your State Veterinarian's office to verify. If your State Veterinarian's office has another option not listed here, or if you are unsure if the CVI is accepted, contact the Import Coordinator.

  • Electronic forms from any of the following: Global Vet Link, AgMove CVI, your State Veterinarian's office.
  • Paper copies available from your State Veterinarian's office. DATCP accepts large animal forms for pets and wild animals if allowed by the state of origin (where the animal is coming from).
  • For imports from Texas, in addition to the above, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) CVI.

CVIs must include the following:

  • Complete physical origin and destination addresses.
  • Age of animal, species, breed and sex.
  • Number of animals.
  • Purpose of movement.
  • Current veterinarian-administered rabies vaccination for dogs and domestic cats five months and older with the date of vaccination and revaccination due date or indication of 1 or 3 year vaccine clearly written on the CVI. Wisconsin accepts both valid one-year and three-year rabies vaccines, which must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
  • For dogs, see additional requirements below.

Not required for household pets:

  • Testing.
  • Statements on the CVI.
  • Import permit number.

How to submit a CVI:

CVIs written for animal imports into Wisconsin must be sent to DATCP's Division of Animal Health. This can be done in the following ways:

  • Electronic CVIs like Global Vet Link, AgMove CVI, or an eCVI provided by the state of origin are automatically and electronically submitted and no additional action is required after CVI submission.
  • If paper CVIs are submitted to a State Veterinarian's office in the state of origin and that office is forwarding them to Wisconsin, no further action is required.
  • If submitting paper CVIs directly to Wisconsin, email datcpwicvi@wisconsin.gov or mail to DATCP-DAH, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911.

Additional Import Requirements for Dogs

Heartworm-Positive Dogs

Any dog found to be positive on a heartworm test in the state of origin may not be imported into Wisconsin until it has completed the appropriate heartworm treatment protocol as recommended by the American Heartworm Society. After the treatment is completed, a veterinarian in the state of origin must record on the CVI that the dog was treated for heartworm and record all treatment dates.

Additional Import Requirements for Household Pet​s from Another Country

For household pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the U.S., contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at (404) 639-3311 or visit the CDC website. You should also visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website to find any information not covered on the CDC website.

In addition to any requirements from CDC and USDA, household pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the U.S. need to meet the regular import requirements for Wisconsin. This includes meeting the requirements for rabies vaccination for dogs and cats. Any health documentation used by the country of origin will be accepted for international movement.

Additional Import Requirements for Dogs Imported from African Swine Fever Affected Countries

All dogs imported into Wisconsin that originate from or have traveled through a country in which African Swine Fever (ASF) has been diagnosed within the past five (5) years, including the People's Republic of China will also require:

  • An import permit (use the General Import Permit Application)
  • A post import quarantine (see below for quarantine terms)

See List of ASF affected countries.

See USDA Factsheet for information about ASF.

The quarantine will remain in effect until cancelled by official written notice from the State Veterinarian or an authorized representative.

The terms of the quarantine will include:

  1. Not removing the animal(s) from the place of quarantine unless permitted in advance by the State Veterinarian or an authorized representative in writing;
  2. Keeping the animal(s) in an area within the place of quarantine that is easily cleaned and can be disinfected;
  3. Isolating the animal(s) away from the public and any other animals;
  4. Not allowing visitors to access or contact the animal(s);
  5. Providing veterinary prescribed appropriate tick treatment for all quarantined dog(s);
  6. Disassembling, cleaning by thoroughly removing all organic material, washing using a detergent, and disinfecting with bleach solution (specified below), any animal carriers and food or water bowls upon arrival into Wisconsin.
  7. Using a disinfectant solution of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach mixed with one gallon of water and, when applying, allowing the disinfectant solution to be in contact with surfaces for 10-15 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it off with water;
  8. Double-bagging any transport-associated material(s) and animal feces and other waste incurred during travel and for the first five (5) days after arrival of the animal(s) into Wisconsin. Bringing the material to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (445 Easterday Lane, Madison, WI 53706) for disposal by incineration at the importer's expense at the end of the quarantine period. Waste packaging must be approved by a District Veterinarian assigned to the case prior to transport for disposal;
  9. Notifying the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (608) 262-5432, to make arrangements before transporting material for incineration; and
  10. Complying with any additional requirements that may be needed due to non-compliance with the provisions of the quarantine or indications of disease risk.

The quarantine will remain in effect for a minimum of 10 days. However, the actual length of any quarantine may be longer if the dog shows signs of illness or there are any issues of non-compliance with the conditions of the quarantine, including any attached written protocols.

The department may inspect to ensure the animals or products quarantined under this quarantine order are being held in compliance with the terms of the order.​

With the exception of heartworm positive dogs, Wisconsin does not have specific testing or paperwork requirements for moving pets within the state.

Information specifically for rabbits

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 (RHDV2) has been confirmed in other states including Minnesota. RHDV2 has not been detected in Wisconsin. There are currently no restrictions on rabbit movements within Wisconsin. 

For those who choose to move rabbits, it is recommended to follow biosecurity practices including the consideration of vaccination. The RHDV2 vaccine has been approved for use in Wisconsin. More information can be found on DATCP's RHDV2 page.

Heartworm-Positive Dogs within Wisconsin

Any dog in Wisconsin found to be positive on a heartworm test may not be sold, transferred, or adopted until it has completed the appropriate heartworm treatment protocol as recommended by the American Heartworm Society. After the treatment is completed, a veterinarian must record on a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) that the dog was treated for heartworm and record all treatment dates.

An untreated positive dog in Wisconsin may only be sold, transferred, or adopted if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Full disclosure of the dog's condition is provided by the dog seller/shelter to the buyer/recipient/adopter.
  • A signed statement is provided by the buyer/recipient/adopter and submitted to the Wisconsin State Veterinarian or designee stating that the dog will be treated with the appropriate treatment.
  • The buyer/recipient/adopter's statement is approved by the state veterinarian or designee.

A copy of the approved statement will be kept in animal records maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Wisconsin does not have specific export requirements for pets. You will need to contact the state or nation of destination to learn about their import requirements.

If you are planning to take a companion animal out of the U.S., information is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for international animal export regulations.

Most certificates of veterinary inspection (CVI) for animals leaving the U.S. for another country need to be signed by a USDA veterinarian (not the Wisconsin state veterinarian). Call the USDA Madison office at (608) 662-0630 to confirm your CVI is complete before you travel to the Madison USDA office to get the signature. USDA veterinarians will not sign incomplete or inaccurate CVIs.

APHIS 7001 Form Use

Wisconsin veterinarians can no longer use the computer-generated APHIS 7001 form for intra- and interstate movement. However, if USDA or the destination country has directed use of this form for international movement, it should be used.

Wisconsin accepts the older, multi-copy 7001 forms with preprinted numbers for intra- and interstate movement. You must contact the state of destination to ensure it will accept this form.