Travel with your pets within Europe

Travel with your pets within Europe

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Dog and cat owners can travel more easily within the European Union, Norway and Switzerland since 2004.

The law dictates, among other things, that the pet must have a passport of the European Union and be vaccinated against rabies.

EU laws and regulations apply to travel with pets from other countries to a member state of the EU.

To travel from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City to a member state of the EU, the same rules and regulations will apply between member states.
If the dog or cat comes from a country where there is rabies, it is mandatory to prove that your pet does not have it through a blood test done at least 3 months before your trip.

General rules

For the transport of pets within the EU, the following general rules apply:

Dogs and cats need a valid EU passport to travel to other countries: The passport includes the description of the animal, its name and the address of the owner, as well as the proof of the rabies vaccine. This new document replaces the previous documents used in the past to transport pets. Please ask your veterinarian for more information on how and where to obtain this passport.

Dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against rabies: Your usual veterinarian can do it, as well as register the vaccination in your pet’s passport.
The owners are required to put an identification to their pet: Apart from the “chip”, a tattoo could respond to the regulations to be met. These two methods can be performed by the veterinarian.
Those who travel to England, Ireland, Sweden or a country that is not part of the EU, should bring documentation of a blood test done to your pet: The blood test must be done a few months before your trip.

Specific information

For the transport of own pets between all the countries of the EU, the following conditions apply:

Until January 3, 2009, any member state may issue new special conditions and regulations regarding ticks and echinococci. It is possible that in countries like Sweden require proof of treatments to your pet against ticks and echinococcus.

Pets must be vaccinated against rabies and identified with a chip or tattoo, according to ISO 11784 and Appendix 1 of ISO 11785. There are several organizations where you can register the electronic number. This will give more chances of finding your pet in case of loss.

The new EU passport has 2 parts. A party has general information about your pet, name, vaccinations, medical treatments, if you have them, and medical information in general. The other part can be compiled by the editor.

Pets under three months do not have to be vaccinated, but it must be proved that the pet has been living in the same place since he was born and has not been in contact with other animals that may have rabies. Your usual veterinarian can inform you how to obtain this document. The puppy can also cross the border if accompanied by his mother and on which he still depends. Each member state has the right to refuse the entry of a puppy, especially in countries like England, Ireland and Sweden, where it will be difficult or impossible to get your little puppy.

The aforementioned regulations apply when traveling with pets from countries where the rabies status is the same as in EU countries. At this moment there are countries like: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, The Vatican.

Extra conditions regarding international transport:

If you travel to Ireland, Sweden and England, you will find some demands that you must meet as a blood test of the pet and that has been vaccinated against rabies. This analysis must be done some time before your trip, as stipulated by the regulation. For Ireland and England, it must be done 6 months in advance. For Sweden, 4 months in advance.
Younger pets will be accepted in these countries only if all demands are met. In practice, until 8 – 10 months of age, pets are not accepted in these countries.

What happens if my pet’s documents are not in order?

If you do not have the proper documentation for your pet, Customs officers have the right to stop the animal. The consequences can be:

The pet will be quarantined until the health regulations of that country are met.
The animal will be returned to its country of origin, so you would go with him and not be able to make your trip happen.

Passport and vaccination history

The EU passport is mandatory for pets traveling to other countries.

Where are you going next?

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