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Importing Your Pet

Spain - Importing Your Pet

It is a fairly straightforward process to move a pet within the EU and owners should ensure that all the paperwork is available and up to date to make the whole procedure very smooth. There are two schemes which can be used to move pets throughout Europe. The first is the European Pet Passport scheme which is intended for domestic animals and allows those that qualify to cross borders within the EU. The second is the PETS scheme which is for animals coming to and from the UK and which allows them to move without the need for quarantine.

Pet owners should be aware that there may be restrictions on pets moving within the EU if there are outbreaks of illnesses such as foot and mouth disease. In recent years restrictions have also been in place due to outbreaks of Avian Flu.

The pet passport is a booklet which is given to the pet owner and which contains information on the vaccinations, identification number of the animal and other information that could be useful. This passport is valid for as long as the pet is alive. This passport is essential for those animals which are travelling within the EU although if you are travelling to and from Ireland, Malta, the UK and Sweden then there are further considerations. A pet passport can only be issued by a vet, who will need to confirm that the animal has been microchipped, has been vaccinated against rabies and has undergone a blood test to ensure that the vaccine is in the pet’s system.

Pet owners are able to take up to five pets themselves into Spain and the pet passports must be carried with them. All animals taken into Spain must be at least 3 months old. It is possible to take a rabbit or a rodent into the country without a passport but the pet should be declared at the border crossing. The standard restrictions are for domestic pets such as cats and dogs.

Pets that are travelling to Spain from countries other than EU countries need to follow the same procedures as for EU pets, with up to date rabies vaccinations. If the animal is coming from a country that insists on the same level of rabies vaccinations then it is only necessary to prove that the vaccinations are up to date. A complete anti-rabies course of treatment is essential for animals that are coming from countries not on an approved list.

When a pet is coming from the US or Canada it must have a certificate issued by a vet which gives details of the health of the animal, rabies vaccinations, a microchip which is compatible with EU standards and an approved pet carrier that is correctly labelled with the details of the owner. When the pet arrives in Spain a vet is able to issue an EU pet passport.

Those who wish to take other animals into the country such as horses and birds should contact their local Spanish embassy or consulate to determine the requirements for that particular animal. The requirements will depend upon the country of origin, the type of animal and the health of the animal.

An importation license is not needed for the importation of domestic animals and it is not essential to have a licence to keep a pet when you are in Spain, unless the dog you are bringing into the country appears on the dangerous dogs list. A copy of the list can be obtained from the Spanish embassy in your home country. There are regulations about animal welfare in Spain but anyone is able to own a pet.

In order to apply for the licence to keep one of these dogs you need to be at least 18 years of age, have proof ID, proof of residency, have a certificate of mental capability which proves that you are able to take care of such an animal, insurance for the pet, proof that the animal has attended a training school and proof that the animal has been vaccinated.

Pet supplies are readily available in Spain from supermarkets and veterinary surgeries. Pet owners will be able to find most of the brands that are available in the UK and the US.

Useful Resources

CIAA (Centro Integral de Acogida de Animales)
Tel: + 34 91 846 75 40

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

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