Pet owners who want to bring their furry friends to Hawai’i from the mainland can rejoice — the state’s quarantine process just got a lot quicker.
Hawai’i is the only rabies-free state in the country, largely because the state has carefully managed animals traveling to and from the islands with strict quarantine laws that have been in effect for decades. But now, pet owners who go through an expedited process, known as the 5 Day or Less Rabies Quarantine Program, can get their pets to the islands even quicker than before. With that process, pets don’t have to be quarantined when they arrive at the airport.
Under the old rules, even the pets that had vaccinations and underwent special blood testing could be required to wait months before coming to the island — or be quarantined. The previous rules dictated that pets wait four months following the blood test and 90-days from their last rabies vaccination before they would be considered clear.
But now, the state has revised the rules, saying that the updated process will cut down on wait times but still protect Hawai’i from the rabies virus. Under the new rules, pets only have to wait 30 days following both the blood and rabies vaccinations before they’re considered clear. That means the waiting period is cut back by potentially 75 percent.
For people wanting to move or travel with their pets to Hawai’i, this is good news. In 2017, more than 16,500 cats and dogs entered the state, of which the vast majority didn't have to go through quarantine upon arrival.
To learn more about the quarantine rules in Hawai’i, visit http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/.