Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where are you located?
We are located north of Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. Which airport is used to export the birds to SA, once the quarantine has been completed?
We use Salt Lake City International Airport to export the birds to their destination. This airport also happens to have the second largest MAJOR DELTA HUB in the country, with National and International Flights Departing daily to major non-stop destinations around the world. Your birds will always depart from SLC International Airport upon completion of quarantine.
3. How long have you been exporting birds outside the USA?
We have been successfully exporting racing homing pigeons outside the USA since approximately 2008.
4. Are you an approved USDA Quarantine Facility?
Yes, we are an approved USDA Export Quarantine Facility that follows strict bio-security protocol measures.
5. What is your shipping address?
Our shipping address which we use to both send and receive live bird shipments is:
Avian Export Services
PO BOX 146
KAYSVILLE, UT 84037
Our Post Office knows us very well since we have shipped thousands of birds with them over the many years of being in business. They call us immediately so that your birds don't sit in the post office all day after arrival.
If you have a large qty of birds you would like to ship to us, and you are approved to ship through the airlines, let us know ahead of time and we can arrange to pick the birds up from Salt Lake City International Airport, upon their arrival.
6. How many birds can your export quarantine facility safely handle?
Our Export Quarantine Facility was built to safely handle and accomodate up to 1,200 birds at any given time. We could handle more than this, however, prefer to keep the numbers no more than 1,200.
7. Does a USDA/APHIS Inspector actually physically go to the property to do the thorough inspection of the facility and inspect all the birds, prior to shipment?
Yes, they do. They are required to do so on each quarantine session. They are also the only personnel that are allowed to visit our facility due to strict bio-security measures that are in place. They also will not sign off on the International Health Certificates and Inspection, unless this visit has been performed according to strict USDA/APHIS standards.
8. Can I send you some birds that need to go to SA, but are not heading to the SAMDPR?
Unfortunately, No. The only birds that we can quarantine and send as a group are those birds that are headed to SAMDPR directly, per the Import Permit Requirments. We cannot mix birds since our shipment goes directly to the race, and only to the race. We do offer private group quarantines, but those must be reserved on a case by case basis... and cannot be offered when we have an existing quarantine session in process.
9. What is the minimum time required for birds to be in Quarantine, prior to export for SAMDPR?
Great Question! Per the Import Permit Requirements Issued by The South African Govt, we are required to fully comply and have the birds a minimum of 30 days, prior to being able to export them. They are very strict on this requirement. If the birds are not from the country of original origin, (Meaning where they originated from) they add an additional requirement which states that the birds MUST be in country for a minimum time of 3 Months, Prior to Export. What this means is the following: If a Canadian Flier (for example) wants to send us some birds for the SAMDPR for export, they can do so, HOWEVER, because those birds were not born in the USA, we are required to keep them for 3 months prior to export.
The same rule applies to USA Fliers (for example) if they were to send birds to CANADA to in turn have them exported to South Africa. Those USA birds would need to be in Canada for a minimum of 3 Months, Prior to them being exported to South Africa....because those birds were not born in Canada. If anyone tells you otherwise, you are being told wrong information. Your birds will be delayed by Govt Procedures that are set in place to prevent deviations from these rules. We don't make the rules, but we are required to follow them exactly how they are spelled out.
10. What is the Flight Plan and basketing process for the birds when they ship out?
We load all the birds up in well constructed spacious Airline Approved Shipping Containers designed specifically for shipping live birds overseas. This is done just a few hrs prior to check in time at Delta. They have feed and water inside the crates that will last the entire flight duration to SA. They are then taken to Salt Lake International Airport where they depart on an evening (red eye flight) on Delta Airlines, directly to JFK, after which they are transferred to SA Airways that same morning, and then flown non- stop to Johannesburg, SA. The flight is approximately 15 hrs. There is very minimal stress throughout this entire logistics process.
11. Do the birds stay at your quarantine facility the entire time, once they are shipped to you?
Yes. We do not broker the birds, or send them to another individual to do the quarantine services. The birds come directly to us, and they stay with us the entire time before they are exported to their final destination.
12. Will you take pictures of the birds for me while they are in Quarantine.
No. This is a quarantine facility, and we do not want to add any stress to the birds by trying to find a particular bird amongst hundreds in the facility. Your birds will be photographed when they are in SA.
13. What is the minimum qty of birds I would need to have, in order to do a private quarantine session at your facility?
The minimum qty of birds we must have in order to do a private group quarantine is (+20 Birds). Anything less than that is just too cost prohibitive due to the time and energy it takes to accomplish a successful quarantine export session. The receiving country is required to have an import agent that applies for the necessary import permit. The Import Permit is what tells us exactly what kind of Avian testing is required in order to safely get the birds exported to you outside the USA.
14. What are the typical feeds that are given to the birds, while in quarantine?
In 2018 we used strictly the Brad Hoggan Maintenance Mix with Probiotics. We also gave the birds the famous Jovati Pigeon Grit. In 2019, however, we are planning on feeding your birds Versele-Laga Champion Mix, with Jovati Grit.
15. What are the estimated costs associated with exporting a group of birds outside the USA?
This is probably the most frequently and commonly asked question we get. Here is the short answer..There are two separate costs. Please read below.
First, if you live outside The United States and would like to bring birds to your country from USA, you must make arrangements with someone in your country that will apply for the required import permit, issued by your government. This import permit will tell us exactly what kinds of testing is required while we perform the quarantine session at our facilty. Many countries require a separate quarantine once the birds arrive to your country, prior to you being able to receive them. You need to find out your own countries specifics ahead of time, and you, or another individual applying for the permit must obtain the import permit PRIOR to importing the birds.
We can fit up to 20 birds safely in an airlines approved shipping crate. The weight difference won't change the price that much, if at all whether we ship 4 birds or 20 birds. We recommend doing private quarantines that consist of at least +20 birds. This can help spread out the cost amongst several different breeders, if they want to also send birds with the group.
We have done our best at keeping these costs as low as possible, based on what is involved and what I am charged by others that render services associated with this entire process.
Here are the costs broken down:
1. Airline Cargo Freight charges and handling from SLC International Airport to your countries final destination using a mandatory IPATA Agent as is now required and mandatory by all major airlines for international live shipments: $1600 USD
2. Airline Approved Shipping Crate: $60 USD
3. Mandatory AI Blood Testing and Lab work: $45-50 USD Per Bird.
4. Mandatory Exam Fee: $150 USD
5. USDA Final Paperwork Sign-Off: $150 USD
Total: $ 2005.00 USD (THIS IS THE BARE MINIMUM (BASE COST) JUST FOR THE ITEMS ABOVE)
The combined 30 Day Quarantine Fee + International Health Certificates issued for each bird cost: $125 Per Bird USD
Grand Total: Just add up everything listed above. (This will be depend on how many birds you are wanting to have shipped, and then multiplying those numbers by the figues provided above)
Our extremely talented and experienced IPATA Agent we work directly with can get birds safely and directly shipped anywhere in the world. We do not get a price break on the shipping fee's through the airlines until we ship at least (4) separate crates of birds headed to the same destination, on the same shipment.
If you are ok with the upfront costs that are listed above, and you would like to book our facility for a private quarantine, please contact us for further information and we can add your upcoming export group to our calendar.
All reservations and bookings require a 50% deposit due at the time of booking. The remaining 50% balance is due 1 week prior to the birds final departure.
16. Can you export birds out of the USA without using an IPATA (International Pet And Animal Transportation Association) Agent?
Short answer, No. Not Anymore as of June 2018.
All the Major Airlines have changed and adopted new regulatory standards regarding which individuals are allowed to book international flights which carry lives, our case LIVE BIRDS. American Airlines is the only airlines we know of that still allows an individual to ship birds out of the country without using an IPATA Agent to book the reservation, but even they have limitations as well. They also have adopted the same rule as all of the other airlines. The rules state that if the birds are in transit for more than +12 hrs, that flight reservation MUST be booked by and through an IPATA Agent with a specific control number.
Currently American Airlines will not ship any lives out of the country that have a flight duration of more than +12 hrs. This means the days of being able to book reservations independently for international flights that contain live birds, are basically over.
We book all of our International Flights with our registered IPATA Agent. They do a great job and we have no complaints about this requirement. If you want to get birds shipped to another country, we can make it happen. Just be mindful of the costs associated with this, and realize that shipping birds within the USA is completely different than shipping and exporting birds out of the country based on international laws we must abide by.
17. What is your Export Quarantine Guarantee?
Our 100% IRON-CLAD GUARANTEE is very simple.
Ship any healthy birds to us, and if for any reason they are unable to be exported, we will first offer a free replacement, and if that option isn't available, we will fully refund the quarantine fee you paid for that specific bird. Any Entry Fees' associated with the races that are paid will be promptly and fully refunded for any birds that do not leave our export quarantine facility.
18. How do I pay to activate my remaining reserve birds at SAMDPR?
Step #1: Contact the SAMDPR Administration and request to have your reserve birds activated. They will then generate and send you an invoice which will give you the option to log into your account to settle the outstanding balance.
Step #2: Pay your outstanding balance. You can even use Paypal to make direct payments to (firstname.lastname@example.org). Just be sure to specify what the payment is for.
Additional Helpful Questions will be posted here as they become available..