My Traveling Nightmare Traveling between Canada & USA

I have owned several Parrots (that I hand raised myself) since 1989 most of which I had to give up to other homes because of moving to small quarters, but was able to keep my lovely Goffin Cockatoo, Peaches. After moving back to Canada (of which at that time I only needed a health certificate to get her over the border to the Canadian side), I prepared to visit my Daughter in Georgia. I had Peaches into the vets for a certificate, packed the camper and headed for Fort Erie border crossing. When I got there, the customs officer said I couldn’t cross there with her (no vet) but to go to the next crossing up. OK, I went to the rainbow bridge told them I had a bird and needed to declare her on their side of the border before crossing. (This was so they knew I had crossed with a bird when I came back and wasn’t smuggling her). They told me I had to go to the next crossing, which is Lewiston. Once there, I went inside on the American side of the border and they proceeded to tell me I needed special paperwork from our side of the border in order to cross with a parrot, other than just a vet certificate. So I turned around and headed for our border crossing and at Customs they gave me paperwork claiming I owned the bird and it was out of Canada. Back I go to the American side and proceeded to get a hassle from U.S. Fish & Game Officer, over my crossing with my Parrot!! They were actually going to confiscate her. Needless to say, I was VERY UPSET!! I called my lawyer (whom I worked for at the time) & she told me to calm down and she spoke with the Fish & Game official for me. They let me turn around and I ended up trying to find a friend to take care of my Cockatoo till I got back from Georgia. This was the first time I’d ever heard about CITIES!! I wasn’t a member of a club, nor did my Vet tell me about the CITIES Law (although he knew I was going over the border with her & he was an Avian Vet!). I had to give up my bird because I traveled to the US to visit quite often and had no idea how to get over the border with a pet bird. After this happened to me I had joined Durham Aviculture Society, was President for a year and on the board for 3 years. I learned more from others about CITIES.

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