Commercial Animal Transport 

Traveling should be an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone—including our animal passengers. With years of experience and a dedicated team of professionals, we ensure that your furry, feathered, or scaled precious cargo is handled with the utmost care and attention throughout its journey.

Click here for information about shipping household pets.

What We Transport

- Birds (including chicks and hatching eggs)

- Live tropical fish and small aquatic animals

- Exotic and zoo animals (warm- and cold-blooded)

- Reptiles, amphibians and insects (excluding bees)

- Small mammals

- Farm animals (restrictions apply*)

- Household pets

*Excluding cattle, horses and any animals with horns

Protection, Care & Comfort

Delta Cargo is committed to the safe and reliable transport of all animals in our care. With an in-house experienced veterinarian, we provide unparalleled expertise and safe handing. Our specially trained acceptance and ground handlers provide tailored care at every stage of the journey, while our dedicated Cargo Control Center agents actively monitor each step of the animal's journey in real-time.

Live Animal Desk

Our Live Animal Desk is available to provide expert guidance and assist in the preparation for transport of all Specialized Live animal shipments, ensuring shipments are compliant with IATA, international and US regulations, and in accordance with Delta policies. Reach out to us at liveanimals@delta.com Open in mail for assistance.

Important Information

- A Household Pets embargo is currently in place until further notice.

- All live animal shipments require completion of the Shipper Certification and Journey Declaration form. The form must be presented to Delta Cargo agents at acceptance.

- Shippers are required to utilize containers that comply with the current version of IATA LAR for the specific animal species.

Pets Aren't Just Freight. They're Family
  • All live animal shipments booked via Delta Cargo must be tendered at a Delta Cargo Warehouse location. Visit our Worldwide Locations page for our warehouse locations.


  • Customers are responsible for compliance with ALL regulations, policies and restrictions for the destination state or/and country. ​
    • Delta has the authority to deny animal shipments that do not comply.​
    • Delta may deny shipments pending further review at acceptance and/or re-accommodate shipments for a different date or time while seeking answers. ​


  • US Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    • Shippers are required to declare the quantity and common name of animal per container/crate.  
    • Shippers are either TSA-Registered shippers (known shippers) or TSA-Unregistered shippers (unknown shippers).
      • An unknown shipper must bring an extra shipping container with them to the airport. Delta personnel will inspect the empty container, after which the customer may transfer the animal to the approved container for transport.​
      • Unknown shippers must be willing and able to safely remove animals from their shipping containers and maintain control over them while TSA and/or Delta performs the inspection. ​ 
      • To become a TSA-Registered shipper, contact 1-800-352-2746 or visit tsa.gov.
  • Customers are responsible for ensuring shipment compliance with the following federal/state/international regulations:​
  • IATA Live Animal Regulations define shipper (customer) and carrer (Delta Cargo) responsibilities. 
    • Shippers are required to: 
      • Complete the Shipper’s Certification and Journey Declaration form Open in Pdf for each shipment, which requires the scientific and common names of the animal, # of animals per container and assurance that the animals will be shipped in an IATA-compliant container Open in Pdf.
      • Provide all necessary marking and labeling on each live animal container. ​
      • Provide a 24-hour emergency telephone number in the “handling information box” on the air waybill. ​
      • Research and comply with all national, international and carrier regulations. ​
    • Carriers are required to: 
      • Verify presence of required documents (i.e. health certificate/international health certificate, import/export permits, CITES documents, Shipper’s Certification and air waybill).*
      • Verify animals are shipped in containers that comply with IATA LAR and USDA Animal Welfare Regulations Open in Pdf
      • Only accept animals that appear to be in good health and condition. 
  • Conservation policy: Wildlife will not be transported unless the shipper or the shipper's agent certifies in writing on shipper's letterhead, which must accompany the air waybill, that the animals being shipped were born or bred in captivity in hatcheries; or animals are transported for breeding purposes to or from a zoological garden, wildlife preserve, government wildlife agency or back to the wild.​


  • Delta Cargo prohibits the following:
    • Interline live animal shipments (the transport or transfer of live animals to another air carrier).​
    • Shipping live animals as DASH.​
    • Shipping hunting trophies such as lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo
  • Delta will not accept or transport any animal that: 
    • is sedated or tranquilized​
    • is obviously ill, injured or in physical distress.​
    • requires medication to be administered during travel.​
    • is displaying obvious signs of aggression.​
    • is making determined efforts to escape their travel crate.​
    • is deceased, and its remains are untreated.​
  • Please review our Temperature Policy
    • All zoo animals (including zoo birds) must comply with the Temperature Policy. 

Crate Requirements

  • Please reach out to the Live Animal Desk at liveanimals@delta.com. 


  • All Live Animals: 
    • Shipper's Certification and Journey Declaration Open in Pdf
    • Air waybill from your booking confirmation (must contain common name, quantity of animals per container in the shipment and 24-hour emergency contact telephone number for the shipper). ​
    • Health Certificate to be completed by a veterinarian (Certificate of Veterinary Inspection) 
      • Must be issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian within 10 days of travel. 
      • Electronic certificates of veterinary inspection with digital signatures required for most US states; APHIS 7001 form accepted for travel to Hawaii.
    • OR International Health Certificate (if traveling internationally)
      • Issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian and endorsed by APHIS Veterinary Services within 10 days of travel. 
      • OR issued by an active-duty military veterinarian within 10 days of travel (endorsement by APHIS Veterinary Services not required). 
  • Special Circumstances
    • If the temperature is between 20-45 deg F, an Acclimation Statement Open in Pdf is required.
    • Certain animal shipments (zoo-to-zoo, international, etc.) might require extra permits or documentation. Please contact the Live Animal Desk (liveanimals@delta.com) for more information. 
  • Due to a recent court order from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the transport of live tropical fish from Hawaii for aquarium purposes is prohibited. To ensure Delta Cargo complies with the court order, a temporary embargo has been placed on all Live Tropical Fish (LTF) shipments exit Hawaii until further notice.
  • Click here Open in Pdf to view drop-off, acceptance & recovery times. Refer to the column titled "Specialized Live," product codes LIV and/or AVA.

United for Wildlife - https://unitedforwildlife.org/ Open in New Window

  • United for Wildlife brings together private sector organizations with conservation groups and law enforcement agencies to stop the trafficking of wildlife products through our Financial Taskforce, Transport Taskforce, and Regional Chapters. Delta Cargo has committed to the protection and preservation of wildlife and has joined United for Wildlife as of April 2023 under the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products agreement, signed at Buckingham Palace in London.

International Air Transport Association - https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/live-animals/ Open in New Window

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues, including but not limited to Live Animals Regulations, which are the industry standards for the safe transport of live animals by air. Delta Air Lines is proud to be 100% compliant with IATA LAR and will continue to work with IATA to further enhance the live animal product.

Animal Transportation Association - https://www.animaltransportationassociation.org/ Open in New Window

  • A non-profit association dedicated to the safe and humane transportation of animals worldwide, ATA is committed to helping our members innovate and succeed with the benefit of shared insights, connections, and expertise. As part of ATA, animal transporters can network, learn from each other, and work collaboratively to overcome challenges. Delta Cargo is a proud member of ATA as we strive to offer the best-in-class live animal transportation proposition in the market.

International Pet and Animal Transportation Association - https://www.ipata.org/ Open in New Window

  • The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) is a non-profit trade association of independent members who are dedicated to the safe and humane transport of pets. Delta Cargo is a proud member of IPATA as we work with professional pet shippers to safeguard the health and well-being of pets entrusted to us.

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