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Pet animals

 

Travelling with a pet animal

Travelling with a dog, a cat or a ferret


Regulations on travelling with a dog, a cat or a ferret have been standardized throughout the EU since 2004. For some Member States, additional conditions may exist. Those who want to travel with their pet should check all useful information in timely fashion.
 Travelling in Belgium
 Travelling from Belgium to another EU country and back
 Travelling from a EU country to Belgium
 Travelling from Belgium to non-EU countries and back
 Travelling from a non-EU country to Belgium

Travelling with other pet animals
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Travelling in Belgium with a dog, a cat or a ferret

 

To travel with your pet in Belgium, you must meet the following conditions:

Identification and registration

In Belgium, all dogs must be identified and registered before they are sold or given away or, in all cases, before they reach four months. The dog can be identified by means of a microchip inserted by the vet or a tattoo.
    

Anti-rabies vaccination
Anti-rabies vaccination is required in all camping and caravanning clubs in Belgium and for all dogs located south of the Sambre-et-Meuse furrow.
To be vaccinated, the animal must be identified and have a European pet passport. If required, the vet can still identify the animal and deliver its passport when the vaccination is carried out.
Vaccination against rabies is only valid if the vaccine has been administered after the animal has been indentified

The period of validity of the vaccine is calculated according to the instructions of the notice and is added to the passport. The first vaccination (the "primovaccination") is valid 21 days at the earliest after having been carried out. A booster vaccination carried out during the validity period is valid immediately. If carried out outside the validity period, it is considered as a primovaccination.

Travelling with a dog, a cat or a ferret to another EU country and back

To travel with your pet from Belgium to another EU country, you must meet the following conditions:


Identification and registration
Your pet must be identified. Since 3 July 2011, only the microchip is valid. However, tattoo is still authorised if it was carried out before that date and is still clearly readable. However, it is not valid if you travel to the UK, Ireland and Malta.
Your pet must also have a European pet passport.

Anti-rabies vaccination
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before your departure in case of first vaccination, the so-called primovaccination.
The validity of the vaccine is calculated according to the instructions of the notice and is added to the passport. The first vaccination (the "primovaccination") is valid 21 days after at the earliest after having been carried out. A booster vaccination carried out during the validity period is valid immediately. If carried out outside the validity period, it is considered as a primovaccination.
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Conditions abolished on 1 January 2012 for some Member States
To travel to Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Finland and Malta, you no longer have to submit proof of a blood examination certifying that your pet is immune of rabies.
For Sweden, treatment against the Echinococcus multilocularis worm is no longer required, although it remains so in the UK, Ireland, Finland and Malta. The treatment must be carried out 120 hours at the earliest and 24 hours at the latest before entering one of these four countries.
Since 1 January 2012, the treatment against ticks is no longer required among EU countries.


Travelling with 5 pet animals or more
If you travel with 5 pet animals or more, you must comply with the regulations on commercial transport. The animals must undergo a clinical examination. Moreover, a complementary certificate , delivered by the Provincial Unit of Control of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) must be added to their passport.

Travelling with animals under 3 months of age
Animals less than 3 months of age that are not vaccinated against rabies are may not enter Italy, France, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Malta or Sweden.
For the other countries, you will find more information on the European Union website.


Travelling with a dog, a cat or a ferret from another EU country to Belgium


To travel from another EU country to Belgium with your pet, you must meet the following conditions:

Identification and registration
Your pet must be clearly identified with a microchip or a tattoo (clearly readable and performed before 3 July 2011. The microchip must comply with the ISO 11784 standard and make use of the HDX or FDX-B technology. The microchip should be read by a reader that complies with the ISO 11785 standard.
The identification of your pet must be mentioned in a passport conform to the European model and consistent with the terms of deliverance of your national authority. For Belgium, see "identification and registration".

Anti-rabies vaccination
Your animal must be vaccinated against rabies according to the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturer. The period of validity of the vaccine is calculated according to the instructions on the notice and is added to the passport.


The period of validity of a first vaccination (the "primovacvination") begins 21 days at the earliest after having been carried out. A booster vaccination carried out during the validity period is valid immediately. If carried out outside the validity period, it is considered as a primovaccination. The vet can only record it in the passport after having verified the identification.

Travelling with 5 pet animals or more
If you travel with five or more dogs, cats or ferrets, you have to meet the following additional conditions:
 Animals must undergo a clinical examination carried out by an official vet in the 24 hours before departure.
 The official vet of the Member State of origin must deliver a certificate.
For more information, please consult Regulation (EU) No 388/2010 as regard the maximal number of pet animals of certain species that may be the subject on non-commercial movement.

Travelling with animals under 3 months of age
Animals less than 3 months of age, originating from another Member State, and that are not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed to enter Belgium, unless they come from a rabies free country mentioned in the list below. However, the owner must present a signed statement attesting that the animal has never left its place of birth and has never been in contact with animals potentially infected with rabies.

Rabies free countries (OIE):
 Germany
 Andorra
 Austria
 Cyprus
 Vatican City State
 Denmark
 Finland
 Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg
 Ireland
 Liechtenstein
 Malta
 Monaco
 Norway

 Portugal
 Czech Republic
 United Kingdom
 Iceland
 San Marino
 Sweden
 Switzerland

The Netherlands


Travelling from Belgium to third countries and back
Conditions are determined by the country of destination.


Identification and registration
Since the passport is written down in the language of the issuing country and in English, it is possible that the third country requires a certificate written in the local language.

Anti-rabies vaccination
Mostly, countries outside the EU only accept one-year validity for vaccination against rabies. A number of countries also demand, in addition to the passport, a distinct certificate of vaccination and a health certificate.

Legalisation of documents
Non-EU countries demand that when cats or dogs are imported, the certificate of vaccination or the standardized EU passport be legalised by an official government-appointed vet.


The official departments that may legalize the health certificate and/or the passport are:
 The Federal Public Service of Public Health, Animal and Plant Health Policy Department:
Dr Willem d’Hooghe (NL): willem.dhooghe@gezondheid.belgie.be
Dr Daphné Tamigniaux (FR) : daphne.tamigniaux@sante.belgique.be
 The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) : the provincial control unit (PCU) of your province.


Some countries demand that the signature of the authority be also legalized by the Foreign Affairs and/or their embassy in Belgium. To know the exact conditions, it is recommended you take contact directly with the embassy of the country in question..
See list containing the addresses of embassies.


Return to Belgium after travelling to a non-EU country
If you return from a country that belongs to Annex II,Part B, section 2 and Part C of the European Regulation (EC) No 998/2003, the same regulations as when travelling inside the EU apply.


If you return from a country that doesn't appear on that list, a serological blood test on antibodies against rabies must be carried out before you leave Belgium. The examination of the blood sample must be carried out by the Institute for Public Health (IPH, Institut Pasteur).


The result of the serological testing must exceed 0.5 UI/ml and remains valid during the entire life of the animal, provided that the validity of the anti-rabies vaccination is not interrupted (booster vaccinations carried out during the period of validity of the previous vaccination).

Travelling with pet animals under three months of age
Conditions are determined by the country of destination, so contact the embassy before your departure.

Entering Belgium with a dog, a cat of a ferret from a third country
Pet animals coming to Belgium from a non-EU country must meet the following conditions :

Identification
Animals must be identified with a microchip or a tattoo (clearly readable and performed before 3 July 2011. The microchip must comply with the ISO 11784 standard and make use of the HDX or FDX-B technology. The microchip should be read by a reader that complies with the ISO 11785 standard.

Anti-rabies vaccination
Your pet animal must have been vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travelling in case of first vaccination, the so-called primovaccination.
The period of validity of the vaccine is calculated according to the instructions of the notice and is added to the passport. In case of primovaccination, the period of validity begins 21 days at the earliest after having been carried out. A booster vaccination carried out during the validity period is valid immediately. If carried out outside the validity period, it is considered as a primovaccination.


Vaccination against rabies is only valid if the vaccine has been administered after the identification of the animal


Blood testing of antibodies against rabies
The serological testing of the antibodies against rabies is not requested if the country of origin belongs to Annex II, Part B, section 2 and Part C of the European Regulation (EC) No 998/2003.
For all other countries, the blood testing must be carried out at least 30 days after vaccination and at least 3 months before travelling. This test must be carried out by a laboratory accredited by the European Union.


The result of the serological testing must exceed 0.5 UI/ml and remains valid during the entire life of the animal, provided that the validity of the anti-rabies vaccination is not interrupted (booster vaccinations carried out during the period of validity of the previous vaccination).

Certificate
A health certificate must be delivered by an official vet of the country of origin. The model of certificate is determined by the European Union. The certificate must be delivered within 10 days before the movement and has a validity of 4 months starting from the date of delivery.
The certificate remains valid 4 months. If a blood test is carried out, you must be able to submit the analysis report along with the result.


Travelling with five animals or more
If you travel with more than five dogs, cats or ferrets, the following extra conditions must be met :
• The animals must be clinically inspected by an official vet 24 hours prior to the departure,
• the official vet of the country of origin must deliver a specific certificate (model determined by the European Union) instead of the above-mentioned certificate.


Travelling in Belgium with animals under 3 months of age
Animals less than 3 months of age, originating from a third country, and that are not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed to enter Belgium, unless they come from one of the following rabies free country : Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.
However, the owner must write down and sign a statement attesting that the animal has never left its place of birth and has never been in contact with animals potentially infected with rabies.

Travelling with other pet animals to another EU country

To travel with pet animals other than dogs, cats or ferrets, consult the legislation of the country of destination. Regulations on travelling were determined at European level for a few species only.
To travel with exotic animals, you must also comply to the CITES regulations.


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Federal Public Service (FPS) of Health,
Food Chain Safety and Environment
Eurostation II
Place Victor Horta, 40 bte 10
B-1060 Brussels

Contact center : +32 (0)2 524.97.97
Online form
Published on 28/05/2010 – Updated on 13/07/2012

 

Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
Eurostation II
Place Victor Horta, 40 box 10
1060 Brussels
Belgium

Contact Center: +32 (0)2 524.97.97

Online form

Published on 19/12/2013 – Page last updated on 19/12/2013