New rules for pet travel

On 29 December 2014 new pet passports will be required? What does this mean for my dog, cat or ferret? If your pet was given a passport before 29 December 2014, you do not need to get a new one. Your old one is valid. If your pet is given a pet passport after 29 December 2014, he will receive a new pet passport free of charge.

I am living in the EU. Where can I get the pet passport?
You must contact a veterinarian in your home country. The national authorities in every EU country are responsible for distributing the passport to the vets that they have authorized for that purpose.

Which animals need a pet passport?
The new EU-system is for cats, dogs and ferrets. For other pets, national legislation applies.

How much will I need to pay to get a pet passport?
No fixed fees are set to issue a pet passport. The price will depend on the country, the veterinarian issuing the passport and other possible acts associated with it.

How long before travelling should I contact my veterinarian?
It is advisable to contact your veterinarian well in advance before you plan to travel with your pet. Depending on the country you intend to travel to, whether the rabies vaccination of your pet is valid or not and whether you pet needs a blood test or not, it can take between weeks to months to get ready for the travel. If travelling within the EU, it is recommend to go at least 2 months before travelling to your vet, if travelling outside the EU, go earlier.

What if I am travelling with more than 5 pets?
If you are travelling with more than 5 pets, you have to conform to the requirements of the “trade” (means both inside and from outside the EU) regime. You must contact your ministry in order to get the appropriate certificate. An exemption from this requirement is introduced when travelling with pets aged over 6 months to attend a show, a competition or a sporting event. The owner needs to provide evidence of this.

What are the main requirements to travel with my pet within the EU?
The main requirements to travel with dogs, cats and ferrets are:
micro chipping valid vaccination against rabies waiting period after vaccination and prior to travelling (at least 21 days, except for boosters) treatment against Echinococcus Multilocularis: optional for dogs to some countries.

What are the main requirements to travel with my pet to a country outside the EU
You must inquire about the requirements of the country you are travelling to and the EU requirements that apply on return from that country. In addition to micro chipping and valid vaccination against rabies, your pet may need to be tested before leaving the EU on a blood sample collected at least 30 days after vaccination and analysed in an approved laboratory. It is suggested to do start this preparation work well in advance of your travel, as for some countries the procedure takes several months to complete.

Do I (the owner) need to accompany my pet when travelling?
Yes, in principle all pets must be accompanied by their owner. Recognizing this might be difficult in certain situations, so long as when the movement of the pet and the owner is within 5 days of each 5 other, the pet can also be considered ‘accompanied’. You may need the services of an authorised person if your movement precedes or follows that of your pet.

What is the minimum age of my pets to travel?
Travelling abroad with pets under 4 months is not allowed in many countries. From 29 December 2014, your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before you can get it vaccinated against rabies for the purpose of pet travel. Some countries accept animals less than 12 weeks without rabies vaccinations, most not. You must inquire before travelling. If an animal receives a rabies vaccination which according to the technical specifications of the marketing authorization of the vaccine only requires one shot, the owner can travel with the animal not less than 21 days after the vaccination.

What happens if I travel with my animal and do not meet the requirements?
Make sure your pet is fully compliant before travelling. It is prohibited to travel abroad with your pet without following the pet travel rules. Pets that are non-compliant may pose a potentially serious risk to both animal and human health. They could introduce rabies into a country, with dramatic results. Non-compliant pets may be put into quarantine, rejected or put down at a last resort at the expenses of the owner. Stringent penalties are in place for those that break the rules. Countries check ALL animals entering their territory from outside the EU and operate non-discriminatory checks on animals entering their territory from countries inside the EU.

I am on holiday in the middle-East or North-Africa and want to bring home with me a stray animal. What are the requirements?
Watch out, rabies is still present in these countries! You cannot take a stray animal immediately home with you, as the rabies status of the animal is unknown. When an animal is infected with rabies, the time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however, it can vary from less than one week to more than one year. So while an animal might look perfectly healthy, it could be infected.
You can take an animal home, after it has been micro-chipped and has received valid rabies vaccination scheme. Depending on the country, the animal may also need to be tested on a blood sample collected at least 30 days after vaccination and analysed in an approved laboratory. You will be allowed to bring it home only when three months have elapsed from the date of sampling.

Why is it important to get my pet micro-chipped before travelling?
Micro chipping is a legal obligation before travelling!

Further information is available from your vet.

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