Depending on the animals' species, age origin, destination, and purpose of travel, the animal(s) being transported must meet various physical health criteria. Consequently various tests, treatments, vaccinations, or other procedures must be done before the animal(s) qualify for an Animal Health Certificate. This evaluation process may vary from simple to complex depending on the requirements of the Country of Destination.
Foreign countries often require an Animal Health Certificate when animals, including germplasm and hatching eggs are being exported from the United States. Export requirements are determined by the Country of Destination. All Animal Health Certificates are completed, signed, and dated by a clinical veterinarian. The credentials required for issuing veterinarian depend on the species of animal being exported and the requirements of the the Country of Desination. Some Animal Health Certificates can be issued by State-licensed veterinarians but many must be issued by United States Deparment of Agriculture (USDA) accredited veterinarians.
Most importing countries require Animal Health Certificates to be endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) after they have been issued by a clinical veterinarian. Once the verification is complete, the Animal Health Certificate is endorsed. After a Certificate is endorsed, the Certificate and supporting documents are returned to the practioner or exporter (you).
Here is a brief summary of this complicated process: