Preparation is Key to Success
Shipping piglets is a safe and reliable choice for many breeders when sending babies to their new homes. Most breeders do prefer piglets to be picked up in person, so the family can meet the adult pigs, get one on one education, answer any questions, and interact with the piglet before they make the final decision. When this is not feasible, airline shipping or ground transportation services are the next best option.
Before shipping piglets you need to know:
- Local airline regulations & policies
- Interstate travel regulations to destination state – confirm with state veterinarian
- Individual veterinary guidance
- Safe temperatures & forecast
What you need to ship (varies by local and circumstance):
- Flight reservation for pet cargo, typically $250-500. Verify flight day before.
- Hard plastic airline approved kennel. Must be big enough for piglet to lay down, stand, sit, and turn around, without head touching the top.
- Absorbable bedding or towel.
- Kennel has one food dish and one water dish securely attached to the inside of the kennel and accessible from the outside.
- Emergency contact information taped on crate.
- Certificate of Veterinary Inspection(CVI) health certificate issued within 10 days of flight, signed by veterinarian. Keep a copy for your records!
- Microchip or other form of permanent identification.
- Letter of Acclimation from veterinarian (in some cases).
- Arrive at airport 2-3 hours pre-flight (or ask airline policy).
- Minimum age requirement (if applicable – ask airline policy).
- Any additional USDA travel regulations such as bloodwork depending on destination state. Contact the State Veterinarian of destination for travel requirements.
Airline requirements & policies will vary by company and location. Each company has their own policies, with individual airports varying within that company. Always call your local airline directly for accurate and current information. Do not rely on someone else’s experience. If you do not meet the airline and USDA interstate travel requirements, you will be turned away from the flight and have to reschedule. Keep an eye on the weather. During the summer heat, schedule flights for early morning or late evening. In winter months, schedule flights for mid day when it’s a little warmer. Ensure the new family is able to pickup the piglet from their airport at the scheduled time.
Delta Cargo Pet Shipping is the #1 used airline by AMPA Registered Breeders. Delta has a wealth of information online regarding shipping pets. To start the process click here to search flight options and prices.
Click here for pet shipping tips provided by Delta Cargo.
Click here for temperature guildelines by Delta Cargo.
Delta Cargo accepts pet cargo reservations 14 days in advance of flight.
United Airlines is another popular choice among AMPA Registered Breeders.
In an email dated September 9, 2016, Adrienne Luis from United Cargo wrote to the AMPA:
“You are allowed to book animals up to 11 months in advance. There are no temperature restrictions since the area is climate controlled and pressurized so the acclimation is not needed. The only time weather affects us is when the station issues out a embargo for the day due to extreme heat or snow. This is not common but we have it every now and then. During the layover they are transported by a climate controlled van and kept inside our facility until it’s time to board the next flight. They are not exposed to the temperatures for more than 45 minutes.
The pigs have to be at least 8 weeks to travel.
The weight is up to about 250lbs. Anything over that is considered overweight and will require special pricing. It also depends on where you are traveling from and to. Some airports only allow up to 99.9lbs.
The regular plastic rigid containers will work for a piglet. You may attach your name, address and phone number on the crate in case of any emergencies. The reservation will also serve as a way to contact you.
Please let us know if you need anything further. Thank you for choosing United Cargo.
INTERSTATE TRAVEL REGULATIONS
The USDA regulates interstate travel of pet pigs, classified as “swine”. Each state sets their own import requirements. When transporting or shipping piglets, you will need to comply with the requirements of the destination state. A health certificate (CVI) dated within 10 days of flight, and a microchip are recommended for any state. In addition, certain states may require more. Discuss with your veterinarian and/or the state veterinarian of the destination state.
Find state by state USDA regulations here.
Piglets should always be examined by a veterinarian before departure. Discuss any concerns with the veterinarian. If piglets were spayed/neutered, ensure piglets are healed before their flight. If temperatures are extreme, discuss limitations with the veterinarian to ensure your piglet’s safety and welfare during travels.