Updated: Mar 10
We have recently taken on our first international client in the Bahamas. There are several things you should know before taking on challenging yet rewarding clients overseas.
In any case where you have to ship a rabbit overseas or even out of state you’ll need an APHIS form 7001 animal health certificate. Your rabbits will need ear tattoos for easy identification. Your customer overseas will need a copy of the certificate in advance of shipment to submit to his or her government(likely the department of agriculture) for approval. Rabbits are considered exotic pets by veterinarians and sometimes require an exotic vet. Rabbits are not considered livestock and do not normally require vaccinations(unless shipping to Europe).
Most of the paperwork involved is on the customers end so make sure to notify them that they are ultimately responsible for handling the paperwork (importing permits etc).
They need to notify you of their intent to purchase well in advance of the shipping date. This allows time to schedule the appointment for the health certificates, work through any bureaucratic barriers or setbacks, and overcome
any communication barriers.
When shipping to Europe your rabbit will need vaccinations for commonly occurring afflictions European rabbits experience that America does not, including myxomatosis and RHDV1-2. To get these vaccines you need to talk to the surgeon general of veterinary medicine for your state and have them ordered. It is expensive but required.
The rabbits must be fully weaned before travel. Minimum of 2 months old. Properly caged, I recommend wire travel cages with removable trays. Have hay and water available at all times Though they may not eat or drink much while traveling. Be handled with care. And if you aren’t sure, traveling with the rabbit isn’t a bad idea. Despite the expense it is fun to travel and meet like minded people. The rabbits safety is of the utmost importance. No one wants to pay thousands of dollars for a dead rabbit.
I would love to connect to my customers across the globe. I’m hoping the trial and error process I’m going through right now will allow me to access people in need of rabbits the world over. I get visitors to my website from Canada, Brazil and Russia. One day I hope to personally deliver quality rabbits to my customers there and partake in local customs.
attached is a photo of the APHIS form 7001. It requires a veterinary signature and in some cases USDA approval.