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TAP Live, your air transport of animals

We offer a very rigorous air transport of animals service that conforms to all safety conditions and ensures the needs of each animal species.

Why choose TAP Air Cargo for the air transport of animals?

TAP Live provides customized solutions for the air transport of all species of animals, according to their requirements and characteristics, including large and small wild animals, pets, among others. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old (10 weeks in the case of trips to mainland Portugal, Azores, Madeira and Spain) to be transported, in order to ensure animal welfare.

We strictly adhere to IATA Regulations governing the air transport of animals and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Since 2015, TAP has prohibited the shipment of animal trophies, laboratory animals and any part of animals that appear on the list of "Endangered Animals", as freight. In 2017, TAP became signatory of the Buckingham Palace Declaration which aims to reduce the illegal trade of wildlife, following 2016 IATA’s AGM Resolution unanimously endorsed, denouncing the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, and pledging to partner with government authorities and conservation organizations in the fight against the trafficking of protected species.

The transport of shark fins from any species is not allowed on all TAP flights.

How does TAP Air Cargo process the air transport of animals?

Our goal is to provide the best conditions possible for each animal, regardless of type or size, and to ensure as little noise and disturbance as possible. This operation is carried out by a dedicated team of qualified and attentive animal handlers.

Because they lower blood pressure, especially at high altitudes, TAP Live does not use tranquilisers or sedatives, because they lower bood pressure, especially at hight altitude, which can be fatal for animals when traveling in an aircraft cargo hold.

Air transport of domestic animals (Cats, Dogs and Ferrets)

We are an airline that safely transports pets to most international and domestic destinations in our network. The animals are taken to the aircraft shortly before departure in order to minimise stress and unnecessary worry.

The following is a list of dog and cat breeds (and mixes) that cannot be transported in the hold:


The above mentioned animals or crossbreeds of animals are accepted if:

  • A veterinary declaration shall be provided specifying that the animal has undergone surgical intervention to improve its condition and/or does not exhibit the characteristics of the breed.
  • In a crossbreed, a veterinary declaration shall be provided stating that the animal does not have the characteristics of the original breeds.

Air transport of live zoo animals

From ospreys to Siberian tigers, TAP Live is the perfect partner for transporting exotic animals. TAP Air Cargo has all the skills and experience needed to transport endangered animals between zoos or sanctuaries via conservation programmes. 

We take special care to ensure hippopotamus, tigers and other animals are not subjected to pressure or discomfort and that the transit times are kept to a minimum. To be certain, we have been working with zoological associations all over the world for many years. 

Air transport of ornamental fish

Marine animals, particularly ornamental fish, are sent by air in optimal conditions, keeping the water oxygenated and at a constant temperature. Delicate fish are transported safely, quickly and without complications.

Air transport of chicks

We also ensure proper air circulation between individual containers during flight when transporting chicks and similar animals.
Note: We no longer accept booking to transport brachycephalic (short/flat-nosed) cats or dogs in the aircraft hold. This restriction has been introduced as a consequence of the respiratory characteristics and limitations of these animals, whose lives may otherwise be placed at risk.

Travel restrictions

Dog Import Permits to the US

Dogs from high-risk countries with dog import permits issued by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), can only enter the US at one of these airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit, Honolulu (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle and Washington DC (Dulles).

These rules apply to countries classified by the CDC as high risk for canine rabies, including dogs that do not come from a high risk country but have been in one during the six months prior to the trip.

Dogs from high-risk countries with CDC import licenses must enter the US only through approved airports.

This suspension does not apply to dogs imported from countries with low or no canine rabies risk, or US citizens and returning legal residents with pets — provided they meet all the requirements.

Check all updates to the requirements for importing dogs into the US on this CDC website page.

Potentially dangerous breeds and conditions for their transport

Dogs of some breeds may be considered "potentially dangerous", and their transport is subject to special conditions. In order to transport a dog of one of these breeds (aged 6 months or older) on a TAP flight, it is mandatory to use a specific wooden or metal crate – a CR82 container. See below which dog breeds are considered "potentially dangerous".

  • Brazilian Mastiff;
  • Argentine Dogo;
  • American Pit Bull Terrier;
  • Rottweiler;  
  • Tosa Inu.

Transport regulations for dogs with ear cropping 

Since September 1, 2023, dogs with their ears cropped or removed in their entirety without diagnosis, treatment of injuries, illnesses or infections are prohibited in Ireland. 
To be able to transport the pet, it is necessary to have a certificate, issued by a local veterinarian, stating that the dog's ears were removed for a specific veterinary purpose. The license request must be made electronically at least 5 days before the trip.
You can find all the information on the following pages: ear-cropping of dogs regulations 2023 and import guide.

TAP Live additional options

You can complement your air transport of animals service with the add-ons and delivery speeds that we offer to bring even more value, speed and security to your shipment.

Additionally, you can request our special services, TAP Express — which ensures airport to airport shipments in a short period of time — and TAP Door to Door — which guarantees the delivery of your cargo in hand, if preferred.

Contact us to require more information about TAP Live.