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Importing Your Pet

France - Importing Your Pet

Pets moving within Europe can take advantage of the system of European Pet Passports which are designed for domestic animals. The Pet Passport is a booklet which gives all the essential information on your pet including an identification number and proof of all the relevant vaccinations that the pet has had. The passport remains valid for the whole life of the pet.

An EU pet passport can only be issued by a vet that is licensed and all vaccinations should be kept current by the vet who also needs to ensure that the pet is microchipped, has had the relevant rabies vaccine and has undergone a blood test to ensure that the vaccine is present in the pet’s system. The passport serves as the certificate of health.

A person moving to France can take up to five pets into the country but must have a passport for each one. The pet must have the rabies vaccine at least 21 days before moving to France, although there is no time limit on booster vaccinations. Any pet being taken to France must be at least three months old but if the owner can prove that the animal has had the complete course of rabies vaccinations they may move to France at a younger age.

There are different regulations which apply to taking birds to France due to the bird flu alerts which have taken place in recent years. Again, there is a maximum of five birds that can be taken into the country and you may opt for a 30 day pre-export quarantine or a 30 day quarantine after the birds have been imported. You can also choose to have the bird vaccinated on at least one occasion to protect it from avian flu and this must have taken place within the last 6 months prior to departure or the bird can be isolated for 10 days before departure and undergo a test for avian flu after at least three days of isolation. A licensed vet must verify that these criteria have been carried out.

For other types of animals such as rabbits, rodents and reptiles you simply need a certificate that states that the animal is in good health. Horses need a horse passport. The person or company transporting the animals needs to have an export licence that needs to be presented to the transportation company. The horses should be micro-chipped and with all other types of animals, proof will need to be presented that they are in good health.

If you are importing animals from countries other than those in the European Union you need to first check with the regulations for your country. If your country insists on the same level of rabies controls then you need documentation which shows that the vaccinations are the correct ones and they are up to date. If your country does not have the same level of rabies control then your pet will need to undergo a complete course of anti-rabies treatments.

If you are moving pets from the US or Canada then you can do so if the pet has a valid certificate from a vet which gives details of the owner, a complete description of the animal and details of the vaccinations that the animal has undergone. The pet must have some form of identifications such as a microchip or tattoo. The cage or other animal carrier must be clearly labelled with the owner’s details and relevant contact details in France. When the pet has arrived in France a vet there will be able to issue an EU pet passport license which will allow travel within the EU.

Animals must be carried in a container which has been approved. The animal must be able to move within the container and turn around, there must be adequate ventilation and if you are on a journey of more than a few hours then you may need to provide food and drink for the journey.

There are a number of animals which are banned in France. Various dog breed such as pitbulls and boerbulls are not permitted, and if you have a Rottweiler or an American Staffordshire terrier then they must always be muzzled and kept on a lead when out in public. More information on animals which are not permitted can be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture in France.

Buying pet supplies in France is easy as many well known brands of food and other supplies are made and imported into the country. All major supermarkets sell pet foods and there should be no problem finding exactly what you need.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

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