USDA Certification:...
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USDA Certification: A Gentle Warning

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Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 8
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If you're planning on taking a pet to Ireland, you no doubt know that you need to have your vet fill out an exam form within 10 days of your leaving. That form must be taken to a USDA office to be certified. What you may not know (and what I didn't know) is that you really need to schedule the USDA appointment at least a month in advance. I waited until we'd done the vet visit and ended up having to walk-in. There are only two USDA facilities in the entire state of California (El Segundo for the south; Sacramento for the north). I'm lucky because I live only 45 minutes from El Segundo. But I still had to get up at 5:30 to leave at 6 to get there before the line got too long for the 7:30 opening. And then on my first visit, it turned out my vet had filled out the wrong form. So I had to go back and do the whole thing over again the next day. But the pup is official and we're off to Ireland within a week.

Honorable Member Admin
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 655

Great advice, @russ, thank you!

When I did mine a number of years ago, I was able to send my paperwork via an overnight service to Sacramento, and included a self-addressed overnight return envelope. I believe this should still work, but please advise if this was something that was explicitly forbidden.


New Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 3

I have visited the USDA facility in El Segundo twice to have my paperwork certified.  The first visit I was the only one there, the second time there were maybe 3 people in front of me. You might want to call the office and find out when the office is less busy.  

Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 23

Thank you for this information. I live in Sacramento Co so I will try to go to that office.

Since the last post (July 2020), has anyone else tried to visit an USDA office in person? Other federal offices are a nightmare for appointments, etc. Just wondering . . .

I have two 15-year-old cats, 100% indoors only, very good health (especially for their age), nice, homebody cats. I do NOT want to put them in cargo. I do NOT want to have my beloved friends die, alone, in cargo, and I find two dead cats when I go to retrieve them. Having two dead cats and a nervous breakdown is NOT how I wish to enter Ireland.

Has anyone had recent experience getting their cats into Dublin?



Patricia Egan, MBA, MS