Legal affairs

How to travel in Italy and abroad with animals is one of the questions the owners most frequently ask their vets.

The European Union Regulation n. 998 of 2003 prescribes specific rules for dog, cat and ferret travelling. About that, it is important to distinguish if the animal gets in, gets out of or moves within the European Union.

If it gets out of the European Union, it is necessary to refer to the destination country rules, so it will be useful to contact for information the Embassy or the Consulate of the Country itself. Please do not refer to web sites, more or less official, since rules can change more frequently than web site updating. Consider moreover that in some countries it is forbidden to enter with some specific dog breeds.

In order to come back to Italy from an extraEU Country you have to respect some rules such as:

  • Identification by microchip
  • Valid Immunization (administration at least 21 days before travelling, or immunization not yet expired) with rabies vaccine
  • Passport specific for dogs, cats, ferrets
  • Serological positive exam confirming antirabic antibody level superior to law limits. This value has to be analyzed at least one month after the rabies vaccine administration and at least 3 months before the return to Italy. The 3 months limit occurs only if the test is performed outside the EU.

The last rule above listed is not requested if the animal comes back to Italy from the following extraEU Countries: Andorra, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Ascension Island, United Arabian Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Dutch Antilles, Australia, Aruba, Barbados, Bahrein, Bermuda, Canada, Cile, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Croatia, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts e Nevis, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Mauritius, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre e Miquelon, Russian Federation, Singapore, Saint'Helen, Taiwan, United States of America, Saint Vincent and Grenadine, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte. For animals moving through Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City no formalities are requested.

For animals moving from Italy to another EU Country, it will be necessary to respect the first three above listed rules. For animals travelling to Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the United Kingdom the last rule too will have to be considered; in these cases the test will have to be performed at least 120 days before (Sweden) or 6 months before (Ireland, the United Kingdom, Malta) the leaving. For animal entrance into some countries it is moreover requested a prevention treatment, with different time schedules, against Taenia echinococcus (Finland, Malta, Sweden, Ireland, the United Kingdom) and ticks (Ireland, Malta and the United kingdom).
For coming back to Italy from an EU Country it will be necessary to respect the first three above listed rules. Please remember that animals younger than 3 months and 21 days cannot enter our Country.
A particular situation can occur, if travelling abroad with animals, if they are under therapy with opioids and psychotropic drugs (used, for example, for analgesic, tranquillizer, sedative therapies etc.), and the owners are forced to take these drugs with them. If the quantity overcomes one packaging for every single drug, the owner will have to ask his veterinarian a certificate confirming the possession lawfulness, on a law predefined form that will have to be presented to the Custom Authorities when leaving Italy. This certificate is valid for three months and will be used even for coming back to Italy. This certificate is not requested for some opioids or psychotropic drugs, so please ask your veterinaria if it is useful for your specific situation.
For animals moving to Sardinia, differently from the past, rabies vaccine is no more requested. Some airlines or shipping companies could anyway require it, so it is always advisable to get information before travelling.



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