moving with a parrot
I will be relocating to ST Thomas in the next couple of months and wanted to know if anyone has recently moved here with a parrot.
I was told you only need a health certificate from someone and then I was told I needed to contact the Dept of Agriculture.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Yep, you will need to contact the VI Ag Center to obtain a permit, which will allow you to bring in your bird to the Islands. The VI considers birds to be exotic pets and unlike cats and dogs, which do not require a permit. The Health certificate is mainly for your particular airline to ensure your bird isn't sick.
There are also certain times of the year that you will be able to fly with your pet and this will be determined by your airline carrier. Delta is one of the few airlines that fly into St. Thomas that still allows birds to fly in the cabin with you as long as you have an airline approved carrier that is small enough to fit under the seat beneath you.
Also, how handlable is your bird? You might be required to remove your bird from it's carrier at the security check point at the airport so that the carrier can be inspected.
Send me a PM and I can give you further info if needed.
By the by, what type of parrot do you have?
Also, I would like to add here that if you don't already have a place lined up to live, quite a few if not most rental properties will not or do not allow pets especially depending on which part of the island you are wanting to live on. I have found it a bit easier to find a place on the east end of the island to rent that would allow a pet. You may also be required to pay an additional security deposit up front. I ran across a couple of places on the Northside who would have accepted both my birds, but then wanted to jump the rent up $100.00 to $200.00 additional a month plus wanted a security deposit.
So just to point out to you that bringing a pet can hinder you quite a bit here.
You don't have to be intimidated by the Dept. of Ag. They are nice people who can answer questions and concerns that you may have if you call them before hand. The main issue that I have found with them are that they want some sort of verification of ownership, which might be a small hurdle for you if you don't have ownership papers or transfer of ownership papers. Both my birds are rescues and I don't have ownership documentation on either of them. There are a couple of ways to take care of this issue, which is:
1. You can have your bird micro chipped
2. You can purchase an ID ring on line with something like the last 4 digits of your phone number or SS number stamped on it.
They aren't real picky about domesticated or pet birds, they try to be as flexible as possible. Their main concern is wild caught birds and reptiles and other Exotics.
Please post on any updates or info you find, which will help others in the same situation. My wife and I had planned to come down before Xmas to locate a place to stay for several months to a year. But my daughter gave birth to our first grandchild weeks early and he is still in the hospital. So we haven't been able to move forward with our plans as yet.
Hi! Bolongo Girl...I brought my parrot to St Croix without problems. Bethany Bradford was an angel and savior in making the process happen...but she is on St Croix....you will need to make a good contact on St Thomas.
Delta Airlines is the ONLY airline (aside from private plane service) that will transport your parrot IN CABIN. I know that many parrots have been flown "freight" with no problems...but I do not like the idea of subjecting parrots to that much stress and temp issues.
Delta agents were very friendly and helpful in making our flight perfect. The only surprise was that even with the smallest carrier your parrot will not fit under the seat in front of you. I had to hold my parrots carrier on my lap the entire trip. That was in coach...you might consider flying business for more comfy flight for both of you.
The AG Dept was helpful...but you have to be mindful of what time or year you plan to be traveling. You must contact the AG Dept well in advance and make sure you have the paperwork from your VET that is required for a trouble free process.
Of course you will have to quarantine your parrot for 10 days prior to flying to VI...and all tests, shots, etc, confirming the health status of your parrot will only be considered "valid" for a 30 day period.
That mentioned, the AG dept process is simple on one hand, and yet when the paperwork is filed you may have to wait weeks at a time for even a signature from the head of a department. Remember...this is the VI government...and hierarchy reigns. SO make sure that you have all t's crossed and i's dotted.
CALL AG OFFICES OFTEN...to make sure your paperwork is really being processed. You will find that when someone is on vacation...there may be no one taking up the slack processing your parrots paperwork. "Not my responsibility" or "out of office for a few days"...will cause delays in getting your parrot here when you need to be here.
Finally...Delta charges around $125 for EVERY LEG of your flight. I was living in Key West prior to moving to St Croix. Delta charged $125 for my FLL to ATL flight...then another $125 for my ATL to STX flight. My parrot is a Caique...and he is 9 inches from head to tail...and weighs 6 oz. Nevertheless...I was thrilled that he could fly IN CABIN with me...and it was worth any price to make that happen. One of the nicest things was the layover in ATL...I got to take my parrot out of his carrier...we shared some grapes and pecans...and enjoyed chatting with the pilots and flight crew. It was a welcome break for both of us!
You are VERY fortunate living on ST Thomas as you have an avian vet on island. Here on ST Croix...there are wonderful caring vets...but none are avian vets.
STAY ON TOP OF THE AG DEPT! They will be very helpful if you are courteous...but you have to call them often to keep the process moving ahead...
And remember...the permit to fly your parrot to the islands is only valid for the days shown on the permit. My original permit was only for 10 days! I had to ask for an extended permit!
Feel free to ask any questions...and best of luck with everything!