Holiday trips with pets – note the changes to the legislation


<p>The movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets with passengers is regulated by the Regulation on pet animals (EC 998/2003), amended and specified during spring 2010 as regards, for example, the requirements concerning transponders (microchips) and anti-rabies vaccination. The number of pets that may be brought to Finland is now restricted to five.</p>

The animal health rules laid down in the Regulation apply both to movement between EU countries and import of pets from non-EU countries. Finland and certain other Member States have the right to impose further national requirements for pet imports to complement the common rules. These national requirements would have expired at the end of June 2010, but now they have been extended until the end of 2011.

According to the Regulation, all animals transported from one country to another must bear identification and they must be accompanied by a health certificate showing that they have a valid anti-rabies vaccination and other required health information. In movement between EU countries the pet passport functions as the health certificate. From non-EU countries where the rabies risk is particularly high a certificate of a test showing the efficacy of the anti-rabies vaccination is also required.

Now the restriction of pets to be imported to five applies to both EU and non-EU countries alike. If the number of pets imported is six or more, the rules for commercial imports which differ from those for pet animals apply.

Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom may require, up until the end of 2011, that pet dogs, cats and ferrets are treated with anthelmintics to prevent the spread of echinococcosis. Finland does not, however, require anthelmintic medication for pet ferrets.

Until the end of 2011 the UK, Ireland, Malta and Sweden may always require the testing of rabies antibodies in dogs, cats and ferrets. In addition, the UK and Ireland have certain special requirements concerning ticks.

Further information:

Changes to the legislation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Import from and export to other EU countries:
Senior Veterinary Officer Seppo Kuosmanen, tel. +358 (0)9 160 53280, seppo.kuosmanen

Import from non-EU countries:
Senior Veterinary Officer Leena Salin, tel. +358 (0)9 160 52943, leena.salin

Rules for pet imports, Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira
Import from and export to other EU countries:
Pet import helpline tel. +358 (0)20 690 991 (weekdays at 9-11), ehyt
Senior Officer Virva Valle, tel. +358 (0)20 77 24309, (media enquiries only)

Commercial import from non-EU countries:
Border Control Section, rajatarkastus
Border Inspection Veterinarian Mari Lassila, tel. +358 (0)2077 24226 (media enquiries only)

Further information on the internet:
Import and export of pet animals (Evira)

Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals (pdf, EurLex)

Regulation (EU) No 438/2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 (pdf, EurLex)

Commission Regulation (EU) No 388/2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 (pdf, EurLex)


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