Importing your captive-bred companion bird to Belize

 

It is possible to bring a bird to Belize, but he or she must comply with the following:

 

  • Full CITES certificate

  • Corresponding identifying leg band

  • All necessary veterinary paperwork at the export point

  • BAHA permits issued and in date in Belize

  • Forest Dept permits issued and in date in Belize

  • A Belize BAHA vet standing by to check the bird on entry (prearranged with min. 48hrs notice)

  • A way to quarantine the bird for at least 4 weeks at your home

 

Airlines

  • Ensure you have the correct pet carrier for the airline before you travel: we recommend a ‘dry run’ well before your travel date

  • Be aware that airlines may postpone your flight at any time: weather conditions and temperatures have to fall within a very narrow range before live cargo will be transported. This may have implications with your permit and vet certificate expiry dates.

 

We would also highly recommend

  • Having your pet chipped before you travel (Animal Medical Centre in Belize City have a chip reader)

  • Setting aside adequate funds to repatriate your bird should you need to return to your home country

 

What Belize has to offer an exotic companion bird

 

  • Reimers Feedmill (branches throughout the country) stock Mazuri Parrot Maintence, several seed-based commercial hook-bill mixes, imported sunflower seeds, local fresh peanuts

  • Supermarkets stock 1lb and 5lb bags of imported whole, shelled almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and at certain times of the year you can get them with shells on. There are local cashews most of the year round

  • Fresh fruit and veg are everywhere

  • Periodic local wild fruits such as craboo, kinep, tamarind, various ‘apples’ and ‘plums’. All of this can grow easily in your own garden

  • You can buy whole-grain rice and whole-wheat pasta

  • We would recommend you bring any special vitamins or particular favourite pellet to last while you figure out how to get items mailed to you

  • Toys: you have to make your own from limited craft supplies and things like bottle tops, phone books, sugarcane and slices of wood from a natural branch

  • Caging: we would recommend you build your own aviary. There is no shortage of space in Belize and the birds love the environment

  • Perches and fresh leaves are everywhere

  • You can get galvanized wire of good quality, galvanized steel (square and round) tubing, cage clips and pliers, timber, hardware such as latches and hinges, and gravel for flooring if necessary

  • We do not recommend importing a cage unless your bird cannot exist without it: it’s expensive to ship and customs will charge a lot of duty

BBR will be happy to show you around and demonstrate various designs of enclosure and methods of building when you arrive

 

Veterinary care

  • In a nutshell: there are no avian specialist in Belize. There are clinics with x-ray and gas anaesthesia, but diagnostics and avian expertise are limited.

  • The best advice we can give is to be proactive with preventative measures: protect your bird from the myriad predatory threats; monitor their weight, faeces, demeanour and feather condition; particularly protect old-world species from exposure to wild birds such as grackles & jays and also opossums and cockroaches: between them they are the vector and carrier for an agressive parasite that only effects old-world birds (Amazons, except for conures, are apparently immune)

  • BBR has had a lot of experience with infection, disease, and parasites in parrots over the years: please contact us if you need advice or referral to the appropriate clinic. 

 

Finally

  • Please do not decide to re-home your pet before you come to Belize because you believe you can just buy or adopt one here. It is highly illegal to capture, buy, or own a parrot without a licence and there is no mechanism for adoption or fostering.

 

Contact details and forms

 

Belize Animal Health Authority (BAHA)

BAHA website

BAHA permit (it says 'cat and dog' but it also means 'bird')

BAHA email: animalhealth.baha@gmail.com 
 

Ms. Melody Robateau

Administrative Assistant/Permit Officer

Secretary for Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board

Animal Health Department

Belize Agricultural Health Authority

Central Farm, Cayo District

Tel: 501-824-4872/73/99

Fax: 501-824-4889/3773

 

Belize Forest Department

Forest Dept permit

email: secretary@forest.gov.bz

 

Adress to: Secretary, Forest Department

Forest Drive, Belmopan, Belize

Tel:501 822 1524/2079

Fax:501 822 1523

Please share your experiences with importing a bird to Belize

Leave your comments here, or email us and we will post your advice and recommendations anonymously

CONTACT

Belize Bird Rescue Avian Rehabilitation Centre & Sanctuary

Rock Farm, Roaring Creek

PO Box 219 Belmopan

Cayo District, Belize

Tel: (+501) 610 0400

email: belizebirdrescue@gmail.com

Founders: Nikki Buxton & Jerry Larder

Non-profit organisation number 13777

NGO registration number 144/2015

Registered Office:

Rock Farm, Roaring Creek, Cayo District, Belize

© 2004 - 2018 Belize Bird Rescue All Rights Reserved

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