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Mandatory from 3 July 2005: The EU pet passport for quadrupeds
From 3 July 2005, largely uniform rules will apply in the EU for travelling with pets. Dogs, cats and ferrets travelling within the EU must then carry a new, uniformly designed passport.
In the blue pet passport with the European star banner the valid rabies vaccination is certified by a veterinarian in addition to the information about the animal and owner. It is the only vaccination required by the EU member states for entry and must be carried out at least 30 days and at most 12 months before crossing the border. It is also required that dogs, cats and ferrets are identified by a microchip or, until 2011, by tattoo. The identification number must also be entered in the passport.
Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom may also maintain for a transitional period of at least five years their existing more stringent requirements for rabies vaccination (blood test for antibodies) and special provisions for treatment against fox tapeworm and tick infestations.
The EU pet passport shall be issued by established veterinarians authorised for this official operation by the competent authorities. The new card will be available in veterinary practices from June.
The regulations on the pet passport apply in principle to private travel with up to five animals as well as to trade between EU member states.
Transitional rules against travel chaos
Despite the new mandatory ID, there is no reason to panic.
According to the decision of the EU Commission, between July 3 and October 1, 2011, both the previous and the new rules for travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets will apply: From 3 July, all EU Member States must allow the movement of pets that already comply with the new rules. On the other hand, they must also allow the entry of animals that have been prepared in accordance with existing national rules.