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Health Certificates

By Blake Ma
Blake enjoys working with lovebirds and has a passion for exhibiting and breeding them

Click image to enlarge
Diary of a Show Bird, By Blake Ma
Two American cinnamon opaline babies. 
Diary of a Show Bird, By Blake Ma
American cinnamon opaline babies.

If you are traveling out of state for a show, some states require health certificates. The best way to find out if a health certificate is required is to contact the show coordinator, and they will be able to give you more information. A health certificate is generally issued by a veterinarian who does a general check to see that the bird looks healthy. If you are bringing a lot of birds, for example 10 to 50 birds, make sure you let your vet know ahead of time how many you will be bringing. Also see if he or she offers a discount for multiple birds. For example, the avian vet I go to charges $15 to $20 for an unlimited number of birds. The health certificate will not show proof that a bird is not a carrier of a disease, but it will show that the vet saw no outward symptoms of illness or disease. I know that some people are scared that their birds will catch something if they take them to a show. My birds have never gotten sick from being at a show, and they’ve attended many shows. It’s been my experience, even when a state requires a health certificate, there is no one at the show that collects them.

If you are traveling by plane, some planes require health certificates, and others do not. Some have limits of how many birds you can bring on a plane, while others allow an unlimited number of birds that can be shipped by cargo. Some airlines do not allow birds of any type. Before traveling or shipping birds, always do research into what the specific airline’s requirements are, as each airline is different. Some require perches and food cups while others just require the seed to be on the bottom of the travel cage. With all the restrictions that airlines are placing on traveling with birds and the scare given by the media to avian diseases, it’s even more important that we encourage people to come to shows, because soon there may be no shows left all to go to.

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Health Certificates

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Reader Comments
Thanks for yet another great article.
Chris, Vinton, VA
Posted: 8/3/2007 7:36:48 AM
sounds like good advice and i just luv th epics of the babies...adorable!
stephanie, no smithfield, RI
Posted: 8/3/2007 4:38:00 AM
$15 to $20 for an unlimited number of birds?!?! The "health certificate" can't be worth the paper that its printed on. A fecal test alone costs $20.

What vet can tell whether an animal is healthy just by looking at it? This article is pure crap. I'd never take my bird to a health show that allowed such flimsy certifications.
Rocky, Dallas, TX
Posted: 8/2/2007 1:21:15 PM
Marla, Suwanee, GA
Posted: 8/2/2007 1:18:56 PM
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