One of the perennial problems for
long-term tourists and returning Caymanians alike is importing your loved pets.
A raft of forms and paperwork can
be daunting for some, according to Ayala Bar of Animal Airways, whose raison
d’etre is to simplify the process for their clients worldwide with reference to
their database of different countries’ import rules and the various
requirements of local airline carriers. The company has recently begun operations
in the Caribbean.
“Animal Airways was established by
veterinarians who understood the process involved in importing or exporting
pets. People think that to import pets you just need a good travel agency,
which is partly true, but what you really need is a professional who
understands the specific country rules and regulations, which in some areas
have become very strict in terms of quarantine, blood test, exotic or dangerous
“There are a lot of rules and
regulations within airlines where they won’t fly puppies, for example or pets
without health certificates. People fly constantly and they want to take their
pets with them, but it can become very difficult,” said Ms Bar, who added that
the focus is on safety and the health of the animal.
Animal Airways acts as a broker to
untangle the paperwork as they have knowledge of how all the airlines operate
through their London headquarters plus offices in Moscow, Jordan and India, she
explained. Local offices include Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela and Cuba.
Cats to Cayman
So far, locally the company has
assisted two families this year, both bringing cats across to Cayman. One
originated in London, the other in New York City. Both were arranged through a
travel agent and Cayman Airways, said Etyan Kreiner, head veterinarian.
“In order to import a pet [to
Cayman] one must be prepared with Import Permit issued by the Department of
Agriculture, a local microchip to agriculture department standards,
vaccinations against rabies and a blood test which must indicate a serum
antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml. A regular pet import to the Cayman
islands begins six month prior to the flight due to the formalities required by
law,” Ms Bar explained, saying that climate considerations and medical consultation
with their vets are crucial.
“People once only flew their pets
as relocation if they had a new job overseas, but now people take their dogs on
vacation with them – they travel as one. Everywhere the family goes, the pets