Performing Animals

  • IMPORTATION OF ALL ANIMALS INTO HAWAI‘I
    Prohibited Animals: The regulation of non-domestic animal breeds and species that are permitted to enter Hawai`i is under Hawai`I Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Branch jurisdiction and Chapter 4-71, Hawai`i Administrative Rules. Non-domestic dog, cat and hybrids such as wolf, wolf cross, Dingo, Bengal, Savannah, etc. are prohibited under Plant Quarantine (PQ) law. Refer to Plant Quarantine’s animal guidelines for importation.
  • GENERAL REGULATION AND PERMITTING FOR DOGS AND CATS:
    Hawai‘i is rabies-free. Hawai‘i is the only state in the US that is rabies-free. Hawai‘i’s dog and cat import law is designed to protect residents, visitors and pets from the potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawai‘i’s dog and cat import requirements.
  • 5-Day-or-Less Program
    The simplest method to import a performing dog or cat into Hawai`i is to prepare it to meet all of the requirements for the 5-Day-or-Less quarantine program. Dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for the 5-Day–or-Less program, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection. (See “Frequently Asked Questions About the 5-Day-or Less Quarantine Program” on the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s website for details.) Ideally, if a production knows it will need performing animals (dogs and cats), the process for qualifying for the 5-day-or-less program can be started a few months in advance.
  • 120-Day Quarantine
    Dogs and cats that do not meet all of the specific 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements are quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival In Hawai`i. (See “Rabies Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions” for details on 120-day quarantine.) Dogs and cats under quarantine are confined at either the state Animal Quarantine Station (Station) in Aiea, Hawai`I (at a cost of $1,080), privately owned satellite quarantine stations (satellite) or privately owned quarantine approved veterinary hospitals (rates vary).
  • Special Purpose Permit for Performing Animals in Quarantine
    In addition to the 5-Day–or-Less program, the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture may approve a short-term “special purpose permit for performing animals” in quarantine, when it has been determined that the animal(s) shall be adequately safeguarded; under the control of trainers and handlers; confined in a state approved quarantine facility when not performing; and escorted and under constant supervision of special duty police officers at all times when outside of the quarantine facility. Special duty police officers must accompany the performing animal(s) from the Station, satellite or private hospital to the performance site and back. All fees incurred for kenneling, supervision and transportation are to be paid by the applicant/film company. The applicant/film company must contract with and arrange for special duty police officers.

    Dogs and cats imported under a special purpose permit for performing animals shall also have a health certificate executed by an accredited veterinarian within 14 days of arrival in Hawai`i and current rabies vaccination certificate.

    The applicant/film company must provide a letter stating the itinerary of the animals while in Hawai`i (dates, times, locations, transfers, etc.) along with the description of the animal (include the breed, name, age, sex, color/markings for which the permit is requested) the owner’s name, local address, and telephone numbers, rabies and other vaccination certificates, quarantine and filming location. Before the animal enters the State, the applicant/film company shall also agree in writing to assume all liability in connection with, and to defend and indemnify the State or any county of the State against all charges, claims, suits, and costs resulting from the importation, performances, surveillance, quarantine, escape, recapture, and handling of the performing animals. With proper documentation, processing will take a minimum of two weeks.

    Under conditions of a special purpose permit for performing animals the animal shall: be brought into the State solely for the purpose of performing; may leave a quarantine station, satellite or approved hospital only at the times and locations listed on the permit; and shall not come into physical contact with non quarantined animals, or cause a potential human exposure, at any time.

    Note that performing animals that come into physical contact with non-quarantined animals or cause a potential human exposure shall not be permitted to perform and are subject immediately to a minimum ten-day rabies observation period at the Animal Quarantine Station.


For information regarding the importation of dogs and cats contact:
Rabies Quarantine Branch
Animal Quarantine Station
Telephone: (8080 483-7151
Fax; (808) 483-7161
email: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov, hdoa.info@hawaii.gov

For information regarding the importation of non-domestic/exotic animals (ie: tigers, elephants, birds, primates, etc.) contact:
Plant Quarantine Branch
Telephone: (808) 832-0580
Fax: (808) 832-0584
email: hdoa.info@hawaii.gov

For information regarding the importation of livestock and other domestic animals (such as horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, alpaca, lama, etc.) contact:
Livestock Disease Control Branch
Telephone: (8080 483-7100
Fax; (808) 483-7110
email: hdoaai@hawaii.gov, hdoa.info@hawaii.gov