1. Pet Passport
Most countries in Europe (EU and non-EU) issue a form of a pet passport. This passport is accepted as a valid travel document on all airlines and into most countries world-wide.
The pet passport is issued by your veterinarian in your home country. The European Commission does not issue the pet passport. Pet passports are available for dogs, cats and ferrets. This document needs to accompany your pet wherever you go. Health checks, your pet’s vaccination and parasite treatment history are recorded here along with your pet’s microchip number. If your pet has an identifying tattoo, it also should be recorded here as well.
2. Vaccination and Antibody Titer Test
Valid Rabies vaccination is an entry requirement for most countries world-wide. Proof of this vaccination is entered into your pet’s passport by the veterinarian. However, most recognized Rabies-Free Countries require an additional blood test to ensure that your pet is immune. This is the Rabies Antibody Titer Test, also known as a FAVN test.
It is best to do a little research and be prepared to help your veterinarian with the paperwork for the FAVN test. Be aware that some countries will only accept FAVN test results from certain approved laboratories. Be sure that your veterinarian sends the blood sample at the appropriate time to the right laboratory!
For example, Japan requires both a valid Rabies vaccine and a FAVN Rabies Antibody Test for import of dogs and cats. The blood sample must be collected at least 31 days after the pet’s last Rabies vaccination and 180 days before entry into Japan, depending on country of origin. If your pet fails to meet these requirements, he or she will be quarantined in Japan at your cost.
Helpful links for countries requiring FAVN Rabies Antibody Tests for import are listed below. Please be aware that this may only be a partial list and laws and regulations are always changing. Check with your country of destination before travel:
A current list of Rabies Free Countries can be found here
Your pet must be microchipped and this number recorded in the pet passport for entry into most countries. Some countries will still allow a tattoo as permanent identification for import while others, like Russia, will only accept a microchip. ISO microchips are now accepted world-wide. If you aren’t sure if your pet has an ISO or non-ISO microchip, check our link here or ask your veterinarian.
4. Breed Bans
Breed bans are also called ‘breed-specific legislation.’ These laws are put into place by countries, states, and even cities due to the perception that certain breeds are more dangerous than others. The majority of these breeds are either bulldogs or fighting breeds. If you own a breed such as American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Japanese tosa, or fila Brasileiro, please be aware of these rules.
Even if your destination country does not ban certain breeds, the state, province or city you are arriving into may not allow import. Some airlines won’t allow the transport of certain breeds or if they do, the pet must be secured in a special type of crate. Several countries within Europe have breed bans or restrictions in place, such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and Ukraine.
Countries where breed bans are in place:
- Brazil (state of Rio de Janeiro)
- Canada (provinces of Ontario and Manitoba)
- USA (several municipalities in several states, Puerto Rico)
- New Zealand