How to Move Pet Birds to England

Nanday ConureDear PetRelocation,

I have a Nanday conure and I am planning on returning to England from the United States. What are the requirements to take my pet bird with me? 




Hi Lynne,

Moving pet birds can be a challenge, especially given avian influenza concerns, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You can take your pet bird from the United States to England with the right pre-move paperwork and documentation.

First, you will want to determine if your bird is a CITES species parrot. CITES stands for the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and is designed to protect exotic animals (like parrots, tortoises and reptiles) from damaging over-trading. Nearly every parrot with the exception of the budgie and cockatiel are listed on the CITES database—some are more strictly governed than others. You will most likely need a CITES export permit from the US as well as a CITES import permit from England.

Secondly, you will need to check with England's DEFRA, which governs the import of pets and animals. They have information dedicated to importing and exporting pet birds. They will give you the import regulations for pet birds (which will likely include pre-export bird flu tests, health certificate requirements, as well as a post-import quarantine).

The US Department of Fish & Wildlife also needs to sign off on the move by completing the following:

1. Obtain a valid permit from the Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Applications for permits must be received in that office at least 60-90 days in advance of anticipated travel.

2. Have your permit validated by a Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Inspector before you leave the United States. (Instructions will be provided on the permit.)

3. Take a copy of your validated permit with you. This copy must be presented when you re-enter the United States with your pet.

4. Find out whether the country you plan to visit has additional import and export requirements and restrictions. At a minimum, a re-export certificate from the country visited will be required.

The Division of Management Authority can provide you with a contact address, phone or fax number for CITES permits offices in other countries. There are no restrictions on the length of time you may travel abroad or on the number of birds you may take with you.

Additionally, Lynne, PetRelocation is able to arrange your pet bird's move on your behalf, taking care of all of the permitting and flight bookings. If you're interested in finding out more about our door-to-door pet transport services, please fill out our online consultation form and one of our service consultants will be in touch.

Need help planning your bird's relocation? Contact PetRelocation to discuss your options.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been updated with new information. (Photo credit: C.P. Ewing/Flickr.)


PetRelocation Team





United States, UK


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By Karen Tingle on September 16, 2018 at 4:57 am

My African grey parrot is 20 year old I brought him from en land 4 year ago I now want to return to England ,what do I need to do to get my parrot back

By Maegan at PetRelocation on September 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Hi Karen! Since your African Grey is considered an endangered species, there is heavy paperwork required. If you still have the permits from his first relocation, you can likely get those renewed with the government. Feel free to check out this blog post about relocating birds and feel free to reach out to us if we can help!

By Diana Greyvenstein on August 22, 2017 at 3:36 am

Take my pet budgie to England What requirements are required

By on August 22, 2017 at 10:11 am

Hello Diana,

Since budgies are not listed under CITES, the only things you will need to look out for are the DEFRA import requirements and the US Fish and Wildlife involvement, as explained in the post above.

Read through the post and let us know if you need help!

By Pet Relocation on May 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for stopping by!  We couldn't get the link to your site to work for some reason.


By on May 15, 2009 at 1:59 am

Great tutorial, thanks for that. My friend will surely follow your advice. Myself, I had my own issues with moving in to England with my cat ;) But I made it somehow. You're more than welcome to visit my site. Cheers!


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