US Trip–and Disappointment

Well, after a week in the US for some work meetings, I’m back in Argentina.

I’ll open this up with the biggest disappointment: Tesla’s still in the US. I’m finding that bringing a pet down here is an experiment in how many things can go wrong at once.  In order to get the bunny down here, the following steps need to be taken:

 

  1. Find a USDA approved vet. Neither the USDA or APHIS actually have a list of these people, or at least won’t tell you over the phone. So just start calling vets, asking for their recommendations, and hoping to find one.
  2. Make an appointment no more than 10 days in advance with your USDA approved vet. Bring several copies of the APHIS 7001 sheet, and any other paperwork you can find that might help you out and may or may not be needed by Argentina.
  3. Try to arrange an appointment with the USDA state vet in Harrisburg, because you are either overnighting the forms your vet filled out and hoping they’re right, or personally bringing them to the state vet. Pro Tip: they don’t respond to voice mails.
  4. No more than 14 days before you leave, book your Delta Cargo flight. Read their instructions carefully, because you can’t allow your pet to have any fruits, veggies, or agricultural products (including hay) in the carrier. The carrier itself has to be bolted together, with a water bottle and bowl that can be filled from the outside, with stickers that say “live animal” and all identifying information on the owners (addresses in both countries, phones in both countries, and feeding instructions).

 

Needless to say, this did not include having to spend hours trying to get information out of the USDA, APHIS, the US embassy in Buenos Aires, and the Argentinian embassy in DC.  None of which were incredibly helpful.

Ultimately, I had the vet appointment, and all of the accessories for bunny. But–the state USDA vet never bothered to get back to me, then Delta decided to run planes on the ATL-EZE route that do not include a pressurized part of the cargo area for animals. Finally–the nail in the coffin–the newest edition of the TACT newsletter–which is all about air transport rules–has an explicit rule change for Argentina, which bans all live rabbits and hares and their associated products from entering the country.  Because those diabolical bunnies are clearly plotting an invasion.

So, that was incredibly disappointing, but thankfully both Winks and Tesla seem very happy with my family in the states. (THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR TAKING CARE OF THEM!)

However… we did get two suitcases full of goodies for down here:

  • XBOX One and games
  • Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic Powder
  • Colored Sharpies
  • Pretzels
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • iPhone (unlocked and ready for a global plan… we are still forced to use our US phones only in emergencies without our DNIs)
  • Long-sleeved shirts and jackets for me!

We still don’t have our household goods down here, and it’s questionable if they will ever show up, so we were getting a little desperate. I had thoughtfully packed most of my winter wardrobe in there, thinking that by the time it was winter, it would be here. So much for that–but a good excuse to go shopping.

We’ve been trying to eat healthier down here–two months of hotel food has taken its toll. Thankfully, the fruits and veggies here are very inexpensive!

I’m hoping to be better about updating this–but we’re most likely going to a 7 day a week schedule for a bit at work–which means I don’t have anything terribly exciting to post. I will try to post more tomorrow about the drive from Buenos Aires to Ituzaingo–which was actually exciting–after I get my photos loaded up.

4 thoughts on “US Trip–and Disappointment

  1. Hi, I am trying to find information of how to transport our rabbit from Europe to Argentina and I’ve stumbled across your blog. Rabbits are not permitted to enter Argentina at all or just from the U.S.? Would they be able to enter via car from Uruguay, Chile or Brazil? Who would. I get a hold of? Sorry for the questions, we just really would like our bunny to come with us. Any suggestions would be helpful! Thank you!

    • Hi Danielle!

      I know your plight. 🙂 I’m trying to source the original legislation that I found on this, but it looks like the page goes to a 404 now.

      Honestly? I would just talk to a certified pet mover at this point. SENASA is a very, very slow organization. I have been contacting them extensively since January, without much luck. (To be honest, this is fairly common at most Argentinian government agencies). The pet movers can be a little pricey–we got a quote for $3k each way for our bunny, but they handle all of the paperwork, vet requirements, etc. We looked into taking the bun through another country as well–but that only complicated things because then we would need to fulfill their country’s vet requirements as well as Argentina’s. This also goes if you are stopping in a country along the way (ie, UK to Brazil to Argentina would require the paperwork for both Brazil and Argentina).

      Be forewarned, I was given a lot of grief by vets for even considering taking our bunny along. Depending on your bunny, they could be very negatively affected by the stress of such a long flight. I was told to get bun used to noise and his carrier.

      Ultimately, our bun is in the states with my parents. It was a heartbreaking choice, but we were so worried that either poor Tesla wouldn’t make the trip, or when we leave in a few years, we wouldn’t be able to get SENASA to behave and let him out of the country.

      However–here’s the bright side. I am told that if you are working for your country’s government (in the US, that’s the Foreign Service) and they relocate you overseas, not only do they often provide pet relocation as a job perk, but you get “front of the line” service through customs and SENASA.

      In terms of who to get in touch with–I would say whatever the UK’s equivalent of the USDA is would be a good start. They might be able to assist you better from that end–remember that you need the paperwork to export your bun from the UK as well as import into Argentina (and then vice versa on the way back).

      Final note–If you are taking Delta as part of your flight, know that a lot of their long haul planes no longer have the cargo section for animals. A really short-sighted, silly decision by Delta in my mind–but that’s how it is for now. Also, Aerolineas does not take pets as of today (although I have seen several in my flights–I have absolutely no idea how they are circumventing what is clearly written policy). So, if you are going anywhere besides Buenos Aires to live, you’ll need to rent a car and drive from BA with bunny. Buses also do not accept pets.

      Hope that helps–if you have more questions, please comment away! I am happy to share the knowledge I have (painfully) come across, since there’s not a lot of outlets out there for this info!

      • Thank you for responding. Unfortunately, we are not moving for he government….no special services for us! We are actually making a permanent move from Italy to Argentina and I really don’t want to leave our bunny behind. 😦

        I was responded to by SENASA and was told that rabbits are not permitted to enter Argentina for health risks the rabbit could bring to La Republica Argentina and vice versa. However, I am going to look at ALL possibilities, given that it’s Argentina…….and in my experience….nothing is actually “set in stone.”

        The airline Alitalia goes directly from Rome to Bs.As., and we were told for a small fee of €200, the rabbit can stay in his cage in the cabin with me. So I know at least that there’s an airline where I can fly him and that there is a direct route (no hassle for other countries’ customs control). Now, it’s just a question of how to get Argentina to allow me to take him! They allow ferrets…….why it a bunny?!?!

        Well, thank you for your reply……I feel like my questions online have gone to “deaf ears” and even if we are unable to take him in the end, at least I’ll know I’ve tried everything possible. If you learn of any alternative options, please let me know. I think I’ll try and get ahold of a big pet store…..maybe they would be able to import my rabbit through their business and I’ll just pay them?!?!

        I was also wondering what kind of information you had on pet movers. Are they able to get around import regulations (AKA no imported rabbits into Argentina) ?? 3K is a bit much……maybe there are other companies?

        Again, thank you for responding! I hope you enjoy Argentina and I’m glad that you will have Tesla to return to when you get back!

        Kind regards,

        Danielle

        Enviado desde mi iPad

        > El 15/set/2014, a las 15:47, “A Rabbit in Argentina” escribió:
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      • Hi Danielle,

        That’s amazing–SENASA got back to you! That’s awful about the bad news about bunnies, but doesn’t surprise me at this point. I’ve tried to read a bunch of Argentina’s import/export laws… and they are incredibly complex and illogical. (Like you said, ferrets but no rabbits?) You’re absolutely right–nothing is “set in stone” in Argentina. Plus, it is entirely likely that if you ask four people the same question at the same department, you’ll get four wildly varying answers.

        Alitalia definitely would win as one of the best airlines in my book, if they let rabbits ride in the cabin! I couldn’t find a single US airline that allowed that. They all make bunnies stay in the cargo area. I guess a few years ago a bunny in a cabin got loose on a flight to Hawaii, chewed some wires, and there went the bunny cabin policy!

        My estimate was through a group called Capital Pet Movers. They’re based out of Washington, DC, so your mileage may vary. I did have a pretty good experience using IATA to find a good pet mover–the really reputable pet movers seem to be very central to major cities around the world. I’m not sure if they would be able to get around a hard (written) regulation, but they might be able to help out–or at least get a definitive answer. The biggest issue we were having was the really quick turnaround required–you have ten days before you leave to get the vet visits and paperwork done, plus book your pet’s passage. It’s a lot of runaround when you’re trying to move yourself.

        Good luck with your bunny–I will be sure to let you know if I find anything else out! Also, feel free to look me up when you’re here in ARG! My husband and I are up in Corrientes province, but we make it down to BsAs fairly often.

        Best of luck again with your move!

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