IMPORTING YOUR BIRD TO BELIZE.
Some helpful information to make the transition to Belize smooth for you and your companion bird
It may be possible to import your companion bird. Regulations may change, so please obtain up to date information from the relevant Government departments
1. Belize Animal Health Authority (BAHA)
Website: BAHA website
BAHA Application form for importation of pet
BAHA DOC: PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING AN IMPORT PERMIT FOR BIRD(S)
BAHA DOC: IMPORT CONDITIONS PET BIRDS USA
Animal Health Department
Address to: Ms. Melody Robateau
Administrative Assistant/Permit Officer
Secretary for Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board
Animal Health Department
Belize Agricultural Health Authority
Central Farm, Cayo District
2. Belize Forest Department
Address to: Ms Maria Flores
Secretary, Forest Department
Forest Drive, Belmopan, Belize
Tel:501 822 1524/2079
Fax:501 822 1523
Generally the requirements are
Full CITES certificate
Identification method (e.g. 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 and with min. 72hrs notice of arrival)
A BAHA approved double screened quarantine cage for the bird for at least 4 weeks at your home
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.
Transiting another country
If you decide to drive you pet here, you will need to obtain the relevant permits from whatever country you enter, even if you are merely transiting. This includes any transit flights.
We would also highly recommend
Having your pet chipped before you travel as a back-up ID (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 Maintenance, several seed-based commercial hook-bill mixes, imported sunflower seeds, local fresh peanuts
Supermarkets sometimes have 1lb and 5lb bags of imported whole, shelled almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans. There are local cashews most of the year round
Fresh fruit and veg are everywhere and relatively inexpensive
Local wild fruits, nuts and berries grow easily in your own garden. Check out plant nurseries for bird-friendly trees.
Whole-grain rice and whole-wheat pasta, dried lentils, beans and pulses are all readily available.
We would recommend you bring any special vitamins or favourite pellet to last while you figure out how to get items mailed to you
Toys: you can make your own from limited craft supplies, natural foods and forest products
Caging: we would recommend you build your own aviary. There is no shortage of space in Belize and the birds love the environment. Contact us for more information on design and construction materials.
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
Perches and fresh leaves are everywhere
You can get galvanized wire of good quality, galvanized steel square tubing, cage clips and pliers, timber, hardware such as latches and hinges, and gravel for flooring
We will gladly show you BBR's caging and demonstrate various designs of enclosure and methods of building
Dr Philip Deshield of Animal Medical Centre in Belize City is our vet of choice for avian medicine.
Be proactive with preventative measures: protect your bird from the many predatory threats; closely monitor their weight, poop, 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 aggressive parasite that only effects old-world birds (Amazons, except for conures, are apparently immune)
BBR has had experience with infection, disease, and parasites in parrots over the years: please contact us if you need advice for referral to the appropriate clinic.
Please do not re-home your pet, believing you can just buy or adopt one in Belize. It is highly illegal to capture, buy, or own a parrot without a permit, which are only issued under specific conditions, and at present there is no legal mechanism for adoption or fostering.