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    Pet Travel To EU



    Pet travel to any member country of the European Union requires tedious preparation to ensure a smooth transition for your animal(s). The EU differentiates between pets traveling within its member nations (and some non-EU members), "third" countries of origin, and commercial and non-commercial entry. Of most interest to leisure travelers, are the EU regulations for non-commercial movement of pets from non-European countries.


    In Ireland, pets from outside (non-EU) countries may be quarantined for as long as six months.



    • Animal Type

    EU regulations on pet travel only refer to the travel of dogs, cats, and ferrets. Authorized entry for birds and other exotic animals is approved on a case-by-case basis in a process which may begin by contacting your nearest U.S. Embassy (or the embassy of your destination country) to determine which, if any, protocol may be followed.


    • Commerical and Non-Commercial

    Pursuant to EU regulations, five or fewer pets is considered non-commercial, while more than five pets falls under commercial regulations (different than non-commercial regulations).


    • "Third" Country

    The EU considers a "third" country to be any country that is not one of its member states nor one of the following non-EU countries: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Monaco, The Vatican, Switzerland, or San Marino. The rules of third countries are then divided into those with a favorable situation with regard to rabies, and those with an unfavorable situation with regard to rabies. 


    • Rabies

    Travelers will find that rabies is the heaviest concern of foreign pet entry into the EU. Regulations and procedures for transporting animals to the EU is focused heavily on disproving rabies in the animal, and proving rabies vaccination. Obtain (and copy) official documentation regarding your pet's rabies vaccination. Speak to your veterinarian about the need for certified documentation for travel to the EU.


    • Health Certificate

    A health certificate is required for non-commercial transport of pets entering the EU, just as it is required for pets to travel within the U.S. However, in this case, the EU has a specific single-sheet form (available on the EU's official EUROPA website) that must be filled out and certified. Vaccination details and the results of a serological test must be attached to the certified health certificate. This documentation must be obtained within 10 days of travel.


    • The UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta, and Sweden

    Entry into these countries requires additional documentation for your pets. Documentation that shows the efficacy of vaccines, as well as anti-tapeworm and anti-tick treatment are required to enter these EU countries.


    • Identification

    An increasing number of EU countries require an animal to have electronic identification (a microchip). Tattoo identification on an animal will only be accepted until July 3, 2011, according to the EU's EUROPA website, although this does not include movements to the UK, Malta and Ireland. Check with the embassy of the destination country regarding the microchip protocol.


    • Air Travel

    Each airline has specific policies regarding animal transport, although most do not deviate significantly from the general standards of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Check with your airline regarding kennel requirements, pet documentation, and restrictions for transporting your pet as carry-on luggage, check-in luggage, or air cargo, as air travel for pets involves strict specifications.



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