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Veterinary Public Health Section

Importation of Bats

All genera and species of bats (Order Chiroptera) may  be imported into California only by authorization from the California Department of Public Health, Veterinary Public Health Section (VPHS).

Bats may be imported into California only upon receipt of a permit issued by VPHS. To apply for an importation permit, the importer must:

   1.   Determine the purpose for which the bat is to be imported: Exhibition, Nonresident Short-term Exhibition, Research, or Re-Entry.
     2.   Review the
 Guidelines for the type of permit desired.

     3.   Verify that a VPHS-approved quarantine facility, either at the consignee’s facility or at a facility contracted by the consignee, is available to receive and hold the animal for the designated quarantine period .
     4.   Complete the
importation permit application (PDF), collect necessary supporting documentation as specified under the permit guidelines, and email application package to

While VPHS endeavors to process permit applications in as timely a manner as possible, there is no guarantee that the permit will be issued by a specific date. Importers should submit permit applications to VPHS as soon as practically possible. The permit application form must be received by VPHS no less than ten (10) business days preceding the anticipated date of shipment. All supporting documents must be received by VPHS no less than five (5) business days preceding the anticipated date of shipment. 


 The permit will be issued via email; the bat may be imported into California upon receipt of the importation permit. If indicated as required on the permit, upon arrival the imported bat must be placed immediately into quarantine for 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, the bat must be examined by a veterinarian. If the veterinarian certifies that the bat is healthy and free of evidence of infectious or communicable diseases, he/she will complete, sign, date, and e-mail to VPHS the Veterinary Certificate of Quarantine (PDF). If information on the Veterinary Certificate of Quarantine is satisfactory, VPHS will issue a Release from Quarantine. The consignee may release the bat from quarantine only upon receipt of the VPHS Release from Quarantine.                                            ​

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