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California to Japan- Cali being the hard part?

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  • California to Japan- Cali being the hard part?

    My husband and I have recently moved to Japan for military business. When we left, we had to leave our cat in the care of friends, who have since then been working with us to try and get her sent over to us. I have been in and out of all the hoops, rules and regulations, but when we had prepared everything for the final step, (getting her usda approved health certificate) the vet clinic started telling us that our FAVN test was out of date, and California has some new law making it more difficult for her to leave the country, but couldn't manage to be any more specific... I think they were full of crap.

    All we've ever been informed on was what we needed to get INTO Japan, and we've taken care of it. Now we're being told we can't get her OUT of California. According to all the paperwork, all the rules I've read anywhere on the internet, that health certificate was the last thing I needed. We even had the official approval from the Japanese airport, stating she could enter the country.

    So if we find a usda certified vet, that knows what on earth they're doing, is that still the last thing I needed? Nobody can give me any info on this mysterious new regulation that's holding her back. I can't see how the Favn could possibly be the problem, considering if I were to be heading to Europe instead, I'd have to wait another month for the thing to be 6 months old. If they were to adopt such a rule, then in a couple of weeks, I'm still good to go, but that makes it stupid that the vets wanted to take a NEW test then.

    It's hard to search for a new vet for our friends to take her to, when we're on the other side of the world, but I think the search may be on. We're also wondering about her possibly leaving from an Oregon or Nevada international airport, if California really is the holdup.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • #2
    Japan's regulation requires that the blood titer test be started 180 days before entering Japan. As long as the rabies vaccintion is kept current that blood titer is valid under Japan's regulations for a period of two years.

    I do not believe there are any restrictions on taking personal pets (cats and dogs) out of California and believe the veterinarian was incorrect. The USDA recently required that veterinarians be re-certified and many of them are refusing to do so. The one requirement that does exist is that the veterinary certificate be certified by the USDA area office. They will only do this if the veterinarian who signed the certificate is an "accredited" veterinarian. You probably need to find an "accredited" veterinarian to complete the health certificate. The USDA will then certify both the certificate and the blood titer test results.

    Assuming 180 days has passed since the blood titer test was done that would be your final step.


    • #3
      Thank you, Jerry.

      I did not know the USDA had recently done that, so I'm guess the nurses scrambling to make excuses might have been due to them telling us they were an accredited office, when they no longer were.

      The blood titre/favn will become 6 months old in a matter of weeks. I know that any remaining time on that is normally served in quarantine, but thankfully I have permission to take her to the nearby military kennels to serve that time. Of course if this takes much longer, that won't be needed.

      Either way, I'm very thankful that she won't be needing ANOTHER test done, especially with how hard it was to get her blood the first time. lol

      Thank you for the information!


      • #4
        Another question...

        Japan requires me to have the original blood titre when I pick her up from the airport, so I did not send the original, but a copy, to the cat's caretakers. You mentioned the USDA would certify both forms, so could that be why they want to take another test? Is because they don't have the original titre too? Or could it be because the caretakers have other cats?

        If either is the case, it would be nicer for them to have just SAID SO instead of making up garbage about the test expiring. I'd actually save a lot of trouble to just mail the original back, and then have them re-mail back to me after it's been certified... I certainly don't want to start her quarantine all over again!


        • #5
          You are welcome. If you would like the complete instructions and all of the necessary forms for Japan go to [url][/url] and then click on Pet Passports - Immigration Info and scroll down to Japan.


          • #6
            Thank you, but again, I've got all of the Japan paperwork and requirements met. When I've got Japanese permission for animal import, I figure I'm good. It's the vets saying that the I haven't met the California Exportation laws thats messing everything up. But only this one vet seems to know about this new rule that requires me to get a new blood test done before the animal can leave California.


            • #7
              Don't worry Japan's regulation requires that the blood titer test be started 180 days before entering Japan


              • #8
                Yeah, my cat just hit the 180 day mark. Still haven't been able to get the health certificate though. The vets are saying they've ordered the paperwork from the USDA, but it hasn't arrived yet, so we're stalled until they get it. Once they have the paperwork, they say they'll examine her, send the health certificate back to the USDA for approval, and then hopefully the USDA will send it back to the vet/her caretakers in time for her to catch her plane.

                That 10-day limit is going to be tight when we have to wait for the mail system, get airport permission all over again, and hope that I can still reserve the flight for whatever day this all becomes convenient for everyone.
                On the bright side, with her 180 days being up, I shouldn't have to rely on my husband's military paperwork to get her through customs without quarantine. My battle is still simply getting her out of America.


                • #9
                  I do not believe the USDA has the proper forms for a pet entering most countries. The USDA uses a form called the APHIS form 7001 which is not longer accepted by most countries. We have the proper forms and can send them to you in a few minutes.
                  Go to [url][/url] and then click on Pet Passports - Immigration Info and scroll down to the country.