Moving Your Pets to Hawaii Just Got Easier!

As of August 31, 2018, the state of Hawaii has revised the 5 Day or Less Rabies Quarantine Program to make it easier for folks to bring along their furry friends. Under previous requirements, there was a waiting period of 120 days after a successful blood antibody test and a waiting period of 90 days from the last rabies vaccination before arriving in Hawaii. The new rules shorten those waiting periods to 30 days for both requirements. “Many may not realize the importance of the quarantine program since we don’t have to worry about rabies because we live in the only state that is rabies-free,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Over the years, the Department of Agriculture has continuously considered ways to make the process less burdensome for pet owners, while preserving the integrity of the quarantine program.”

beach dog

Under this program, pets are eligible for direct airport release as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • Vaccinated for rabies twice in its lifetime. (The two vaccinations may not be administered less than 90 days of each other and the most recent vaccine must be administered no less than 30 days prior to the pet's entry into the state.)

  • Electronic microchip implantation

  • Blood serum (OIE-FAVN) rabies test results with > 0.5 U/mil level of rabies antibodies

  • 30-day pre-arrival waiting period between the time the lab receives the blood sample and the earliest date the pet may enter the state under the program.

  • Health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian no more than 14 days before arriving in Hawaii indicating the pet is not showing signs of infectious or contagious disease and was treated for ticks and fleas.

  • Found to be free of external parasites upon arrival inspection

  • Required paperwork must be received more than 10 days prior to the pet's arrival.

Other key changes to note are:

  • Dog and Cat Import Form, AQS-278 has been revised to AQS-279.

  • There are four new Checklists that are specific to the location of the dog or cat being imported into Hawaii and their intended destination. Refer to the Checklist Guide and reference the list that fits your situation.

For more information on the changes and the process involved, please visit http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/