Your guide to looking after your pets in Spain
So your moving to Spain. What about your four legged friend? Of course they can come to - but how do you go about it?
If you have stood waiting for friends or relatives at the arrivals gate of most international airports, you will have noticed that it is not only humans that appear to have enjoyed a holiday. With the introduction of the Pets Passport, your four legged friend can travel back and for with you. We have itemised here the regulations laid out by the international authorities so that you have an idea of what is required.
The European Regulation 998/2003 which took effect on 3 July 2004 sets out the animal health requirements for the movement of pet animals travelling between European Union (EU) countries and into the EU from other countries. The Regulation covers the requirements for the movement of pet dogs, cats, ferrets, rodents (including guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats and gerbils), domestic rabbits, birds (except certain poultry), ornamental tropical fish, invertebrates (except bees and crustaceans), amphibians and reptiles. Animals covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will remain subject to the requirements of that legislation.
The major change for dogs and cats entering or leaving the UK is that the PETS certificate, the tick and tapeworm certificate and the declaration of residence are being replaced by an EU pet passport. Only dogs, cats and ferrets will require a passport. From 3 July 2004, the passport will enable these animals to enter or re-enter the UK from the EU and some other countries. It will also replace the export health certificate allowing pets to travel from the UK to other EU countries and between EU countries.
The general rules for the free movement of your pet to and from the UK are as follows:
To enter the UK without quarantine from an EU country, dogs and cats will still have to be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. Animals must be at least 3 months old before being vaccinated.
The 6 calendar month wait to enter or re-enter the UK from the date a blood sample was taken that gave a satisfactory test result will still apply. Animals must not have been outside any EU country in the 6 calendar months before entering the UK.
The tick and tapeworm treatment, carried out between 24 and 48 hours before being checked-in to travel into the UK, is still required.
Dogs and cats must still enter the UK using an approved transport company and route. The free movement of animals within the UK and between the UK and the Republic of Ireland will continue.
Special rules for animals that have been prepared in a different order in France, Denmark and Sweden will remain.
If you are waiting to get a pet passport, make sure your pet is given its rabies booster vaccination on time. You can replace a PETS certificate with a passport before it expires. Passports are expected to become available from Local Veterinary Inspectors in late June 2004 but can only be used from 3 July 2004. Transitional arrangements mean that PETS certificates issued before 1 October 2004 can be used to enter or re-enter the UK from certain countries up to their 'valid until' date. However, it is strongly recommend that you use an EU pet passport or an official veterinary certificate where possible but if you have to travel before they are available, get a PETS certificate. PETS certificates may also be used from 3 July 2004 to enter other EU countries (except Sweden and the Republic of Ireland) until they expire. There are no requirements for pets travelling between the UK and Ireland. If you are using a PETS certificate to enter another EU country between 3 July and 30 September 2004 you are advised for additional reassurance to also get an Export Health Certificate (EHC) (or a PETS 5 for France).
From 1 October you will not need an EHC (or a PETS 5) to enter other EU countries. For advice on getting an EHC, contact your local Animal Health Divisional Office. Some countries have additional rules. Check what these are before you travel by ringing your local Animal Health Divisional Office or contact the authorities (e.g. the Embassy) of the appropriate country.