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From 29 December 2014 the rules will change in respect to pet travel rules and pet passports for EU citizens travelling inside or outside the EU.

From 29 December 2014 the rules will change in respect to pet travel rules and pet passports for EU citizens travelling inside or outside the EU. New pet passports will be issued from this date. The new EU-system is for cats, dogs and ferrets. For other pets, national legislation applies. Therefore, for all other companion animals, owners must contact the national authorities in their country and/or in the country they wish to travel to. If the pet is a hybrid (such as a Bengal cat or Wolfdog), the owners must also contact their ministry.

Owners are advised to contact their veterinarian well in advance before planning to travel. If owners are travelling with more than 5 pets, they have to conform to the requirements of the “trade” (means both inside and from outside the EU) regime and must contact their 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.

The main requirements to travel with dogs, cats and ferrets are:

  • microchipping
  • 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:

Travelling abroad with pets under 4 months is not allowed in many countries. From 29 December 2014, pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated against rabies for the purpose of pet travel. If an animal receives a rabies vaccination which according to the technical specifications of the marketing authorisation of the vaccine only requires one shot, the owner can travel with the animal not less than 21 days after the vaccination.
Microchipping is a legal obligation before travelling. Having a pet micro-chipped and registered in their home-country database may also be the best way to increase the pet’s chances of getting home after it has gotten lost or been stolen.

The FVE and FECAVA have put together a Questions & Answers document to help provide clear answers regarding the legislative changes. Click here to read them.

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