Travelling with Pets: A Guide to EU Regulations and Requirements

Are you planning to travel to another EU country with your beloved furry friend? Good news! The EU has made it easy for pet owners to travel with their dogs, cats, and even ferrets. Whether you are moving within the EU or coming from a country outside the EU, there are rules in place to ensure a smooth journey for you and your pet.

Travelling with Pets: Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets

EU regulations cover the movement of dogs, cats, and ferrets within the EU as well as from non-EU countries to the EU. In most cases, your pet can accompany you to another EU country or from a non-EU country to an EU country if it meets the following requirements:

  • Microchipped in accordance with the technical standards stated in Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets, OR has a clearly visible tattoo applied before July 3, 2011.
  • Vaccinated against rabies.
  • Treated for tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) if you are traveling to Finland, Ireland, Malta, Norway, or Northern Ireland.
  • Possession of a valid European pet passport if traveling between EU countries or Northern Ireland, or an EU animal health certificate if coming from a non-EU country.

Travel Documents for Your Pet Dog, Cat, or Ferret

European Pet Passport

The European pet passport is an essential document for travelling with your pet between EU countries. It follows a standardized model set by the EU and contains detailed information about your pet, including its microchip or tattoo code, rabies vaccination record, and contact details of the owner and the issuing veterinarian. You can obtain a European pet passport from any authorized vet recognized by the relevant authorities. The passport remains valid for the entire life of your pet as long as its rabies vaccination is up to date.

EU Animal Health Certificate

If you are traveling from a non-EU country, your pet must have an EU animal health certificate issued by an official State vet in the country of departure. The certificate should not be issued more than 10 days before your pet’s arrival in the EU. This certificate contains specific information about your pet’s identity, health, and rabies vaccinations, and is based on an EU standard model. The certificate remains valid for travel between EU countries for four months from the date of issue or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first.

In addition, when using an EU animal health certificate, you must complete and attach a written declaration stating that your pet’s relocation is for non-commercial reasons. This requirement applies even if your pet is traveling under the responsibility of an authorized person. If this is the case, your pet must be reunited with you within 5 days of your relocation.

Pets Travelling Without Their Owner

As a general rule, pets should travel with their owners. However, you have the option to give written permission for another person to accompany your pet on your behalf. In this case, you must be reunited with your pet within 5 days of its relocation.

Travelling with More Than Five Pets

If you plan to travel with more than five pets (dogs, cats, or ferrets), there are additional requirements. You must provide proof that your pets are participating in a competition, exhibition, or sporting event, such as a registration document. Additionally, your pets must be older than 6 months.

Check the Detailed Rules

When travelling with your dog, cat, or ferret, it is important to familiarize yourself with the detailed rules specific to your destination country. Each country may have additional requirements or restrictions, so it is crucial to be well-informed before your journey.

Travelling with Other Pets

European pet passports are specifically issued for dogs, cats, and ferrets. If you plan to travel with any other type of pet, such as birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents, or rabbits, it is essential to check the national rules of the country you are visiting. Each country may have its own specific entry conditions and regulations for these types of pets.

In conclusion, travelling with your furry companion within the EU or from a non-EU country to the EU is made easy by adhering to the EU regulations. By ensuring that your pet meets the necessary requirements and possesses the correct travel documents, you can embark on your journey with peace of mind. Remember to check the additional rules of your destination country and have a safe and enjoyable trip with your beloved pet!

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