When traveling between Member States of the European Union, with the exception of Ireland, Sweden, Malta and the UK, your pet must be fitted with a microchip or a clearly readable tattoo. The tattoo will only be accepted as a means of identification until 2 July 2012. The owner has to carry the pet passport and the certificate of rabies vaccines.
These requirements are essential for animal transportation for animals older than 3 months.
Animals under three months cannot yet be vaccinated. They may be allowed to travel without vaccination if the owner can prove that the puppy has lived in the same place since birth and has not been exposed to other animals suffering from rabies. They may also accompany their mothers if weened. The entry of puppies under three months old is subject to the conditions of the Member State of destination.
Some Member States might also choose to include additional information in the passport about other vaccinations and the animal's medical history to make veterinary checks easier, but this additional information is not required by EU law.
The European Union pet passport is only valid for travel between Member States of the European Union. However, you can also use the pet passport if you are travelling to or from one of the neighbouring countries where the rabies status matches that of the EU. This includes: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City State.
When traveling to countries that do not fall under the regulation of the European Union, as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta and Sweden, it is necessary to present the test results for the titration of rabies neutralizing antibodies. The test must be carried out three months before traveling and 30 days after the rabies vaccine in EU approved laboratories where a serum sample is taken by a licensed veterinarian. If traveling to the United Kingdom, the test must be performed 21 days before departure.
The rules governing pet travel outside the EU depend on the requirements of each destination country. To obtain all the required information contact the embassy of the corresponding country.
If you board your pet in a country that is not a Member State of the European Union and your destination is Spain, get familiar with the Spanish Pet Immigration Rules.
The EU Regulation 998/2003 of the European Parlament establishes the zoo sanitary requirements for pet transportation. The animal must travel with a certificate signed and / or validated by an official veterinarian or possess a pet passport in case of re-entry:
Your pet must be identified by microchip or by a clearly readable tattoo. The tattoo will only be accepted as a means of identification until 2 July 2012.
The animal must be at least three months old.
As a norm, the rabies shot must be given at least 30 days and the booster shot not later than 12 months after the first vaccination. The pet owner must present a veterinary certificate that is valid throughout the EU, issued by an authorized veterinarian, and includes documentation such as, the certificate of vaccination.
Days after vaccination and three months before admission to a serological test for rabies neutralizing antibodies. It is not necessary to renew this test if the animal tested positive and the vaccination protocol has been followed. They will be re-introduced in Spain.
The certified veterinarian draws a blood sample that will be sent for analysis to a laboratory authorized by a Member State of the European Union.
The results of the serological test for antibodies is to be furnished with the rest of the documentation. It is considered that the vaccination has provided a satisfactory level of protection if the result is at least 0.5 IU / ml.
If the above requirements are not met, the animal will be sent back to the country of origin, or put in quarantine with the costs borne by the owner. And ultimately they might be slaughtered without any financial compensation to the owner.