All pet owners are expected to follow interstate travel laws when traveling across state lines. These laws present a certain challenge in some rescue situations. However, it is essential to follow all laws for the health and safety of the rescued pig as well as the animals and herd at home.
When traveling by vehicle, all laws must be followed in each state that is entered. When traveling by plane, state laws must be followed by state of origin and state of destination.
CHANGING/UPDATING LAWS: Import, export, and travel laws are always changing and evolving based on legislation and health concerns. Regulations and laws are not listed by state in this article because of the frequent changes. For accurate up to date information visit the state website or contact the State Veterinarian directly.
TERMINOLOGY: In state regulations, all pigs are classified as swine. Most states do not differentiate between pet pigs and farm hogs. The term livestock includes commercial swine as well as pet mini pigs. They do not differentiate based on size or lifestyle. There are specific regulations for pigs intended for slaughter that are not applicable for our pet pigs. Regulations specific to “breeding herds” do not apply to rescue organizations, however “herd” regulations do apply to rescues. Specifically, Brucellosis-Free herd and Pseudorabies-Free herd regulations affect rescue herds. Feral swine varies by definition. North Carolina defines feral swine as “any swine that have lived any part of its life free roaming”.
PERMANENT IDENTIFICATION: Many, but not all, states require a form of permanent identification for pigs entering the state whether by automobile or airline. The accepted forms of permanent identification vary by state. Be sure to check local regulations for specifics. Some accepted forms of permanent identification may be: microchips, ear tags, or tattoo identification. For microchip placement, see (LINK) the American Mini Pig Association Microchip Standard Placement Guidelines.
BLOODWORK: Some states require bloodwork to test for contagious diseases. If you will be entering a state that requires bloodwork, plan ahead! The bloodwork often needs to be taken within a certain time frame before travel such as 30 days prior to traveling or transporting. When blood is tested get copies of all documents from the veterinarian. Store these in your Emergency Travel Kit (LINK)
HEALTH CERTIFICATE: Most states require a health certificate or CVI, a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. This certificate is typically valid for only 30 days. In some cases it must be written within 10 days of travel. Check the state’s regulations pertaining to your individual situation. This certificate must be written by an accredited veterinarian. For guidance on finding an accredited veterinarian see “additional resources” below. CVI requirements will vary based on state. Some require bloodwork results, identifying information of the pig such as the permanent ID number, breed, age, or gender. When applicable, the veterinarian will note whether the pig is intact or altered. The state of origin should be listed on the health certificate. In addition, some states require a statement on the health certificate stating the pig has not been fed garbage. Always refer to the state’s current import regulations.
VACCINATIONS: Vaccinations may be included in a state’s entry requirements. Check each state for current specifics. Some vaccinations may need to be given in a certain time frame before travel or transport.
QUARNTINE: Pigs may be subject to quarantine depending on location and current regulations. Hawaii requires a 45 day quarantine (as of July 2015, subject to change) for pigs entering. New York currently requires quarantine only in specific situations.
FERAL: Many states have specific requirements for possessing, moving, or importing feral pigs. Check each state for their definition of feral and regulations of feral pigs. Some states may have a “destroy on site” rule for feral pigs. The main concern with feral pigs is population control and spread of disease, which state officials take very seriously!
BREEDING ANIMALS: In some states, breeding animals are regulated with different restrictions than altered pigs. Read the regulations carefully. Some states consider intact pigs as breeder pigs regardless of plans to breed. This may affect rescues that pull pigs from a shelter intact with plans to spay or neuter. As long as the pig is intact, he or she may fall under the “breeding animals” regulations.
Find An Accredited Veterinarian For CVI: To find an accredited veterinarian you can ask your veterinarian if he or she is accredited, ask your veterinarian for a referral to an accredited veterinarian, or contact your local Veterinary Services NVAP Coordinator for guidance.
USDA List of State Import Laws: The USDA website lists
USDA List of State Veterinarians / Health Officials by State: Each state has a designated State Veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your State Veterinarian for clarification to ensure you are following the most recent laws.
EXAMPLE Import Requirements for Swine, Copied from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services on July 16, 2015.
02 NCAC 52B .0207 IMPORTATION REQUIREMENTS: SWINE
(a) All swine imported into the state, except by special permit or for immediate slaughter, shall be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a state, federal, or accredited veterinarian stating that they are free from any signs of an infectious or communicable disease and are not known to have been exposed to same. The health certificate shall contain the ear tag or tattoo number of each animal. The health certificate must show the pseudorabies status of both the herd and state or area of origin. Swine imported for feeding or breeding purposes shall be moved in clean and disinfected trucks or other conveyances. “Accredited veterinarian” means a veterinarian accredited pursuant to Title 9, Part 161 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) Breeding swine and all other swine being shipped to a breeding swine premise shall originate from a “Validated Brucellosis‑Free” herd or a “Validated Brucellosis‑Free” State and shall originate from a “Qualified Pseudorabies‑Negative” herd, Qualified-Negative Gene-Altered Vaccinated Herd (QNV) or Pseudorabies Stage IV or V (Free) State. Breeding swine and all other swine being shipped to a breeding swine premise originating from Stage II, II/III or III areas or states must also be isolated and test negative to a statistical 95/5 sample test using a pseudorabies serological test approved pursuant to Title 9, Part 85.1 of the Code of Federal Regulations between 30 and 60 days after arrival and before being added to the herd.
(c) All feeder swine imported into the state from a Pseudorabies Stage II, II/III, or III state or area shall be accompanied by a permit for entry issued by the State Veterinarian within 30 days prior to entry. The permit number and the date of issuance shall be shown on the health certificate. The feeder swine in the shipment must have been vaccinated for pseudorabies using a USDA-licensed pseudorabies vaccine with gI deletion and must have tested negative on a statistical (95/2) test within 30 days prior to shipment, and they shall be isolated and quarantined until slaughtered. In addition, the swine must be tested on statistical (95/2) test between 30 and 45 days after arrival. The swine must originate from a Qualified Negative herd or a pseudorabies monitored herd that has tested negative on a statistical (95/10) test within 30 days prior to shipment. Feeder swine from a pseudorabies-free state or area may be imported in accordance with Paragraph (a) of this Rule.
(d) Healthy swine for feeding purposes may move directly from a farm of origin in a contiguous state on which they have been located for not less than 30 days to a livestock market or stockyard in North Carolina that has been state‑federal approved for handling feeder swine, without the health certificate required herein, provided such swine are accompanied by proof of the pseudorabies status of the herd of origin. Such swine shall be inspected by a state or federal inspector or approved accredited veterinarian prior to sale at the market.
(e) Healthy swine may be shipped into the state for immediate slaughter without a health certificate provided they go directly to a slaughtering establishment under State or Federal inspection, or to a state‑federal approved livestock market or stockyard for sale to a slaughtering establishment under State or Federal inspection for immediate slaughter only.
(f) Swine from a pseudorabies-quarantined herd or swine which have been in contact with pseudorabies-quarantined swine may be imported into the state for immediate slaughter only under the following conditions:
(1) the swine must be accompanied by a shipping permit (Veterinary Services Form 1-27) issued by a veterinarian accredited pursuant to 9 CFR 161, or a state or federal animal health employee, consigning the swine only to a slaughtering establishment under state or federal inspection;
(2) the vehicle transporting the swine must be sealed after loading with an official USDA or state of origin seal. The seal number must be recorded on the VS Form 1-27. The seal can be broken or removed only by an NCDA&CS or a USDA employee or other individual authorized by the State Veterinarian; and
(3) the vehicle used to transport the swine must be cleaned and disinfected immediately after unloading the swine and prior to using the vehicle to transport other livestock.
(g) Sporting swine:
(1) For purposes of this Rule:
(A) “Sporting swine” means any domestic or feral swine intended for hunting purposes and includes the progeny of these swine whether or not the progeny are intended for hunting purposes; and
(B) “Feral swine” means any swine that have lived any part of its life free roaming.
(2) No person shall import sporting swine into North Carolina unless:
(A) The swine have not been fed garbage within their lifetime; and the herd of origin is validated brucellosis free and qualified pseudorabies negative; and
(B) The swine have not been members of a herd of swine known to be infected with brucellosis or pseudorabies within the previous 12 months; and
(C) The individual animals six months of age or over have a negative brucellosis and pseudorabies test within 30 days of movement; and
(D) The swine have not been a part of a feral swine population or been exposed to swine captured from a feral swine population within the previous 12 months; and
(E) The swine are accompanied by a health certificate or certificate of veterinary inspection identifying each animal by ear tag, breed, age, sex, the state of origin, and certifying that the swine meet the import requirements of North Carolina.
Note: Violation of this Rule is a Class 2 misdemeanor under G.S. 106-307.6.
History Note: Authority G.S. 106‑307.5; 106‑316.1; 106‑317; 106‑318;
Eff. April 1, 1984;
Amended Eff. February 1, 1996; May 1, 1992; June 1, 1989; January 1, 1989;
Temporary Amendment Eff. April 3, 2000; February 21, 2000; April 30, 1999;
Amended Eff. April 1, 2001; July 1, 2000.