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Immigrating to France with pets.

Jan 08. 2016

Are you moving to France with pets? Pets are welcome in France but there are strict rules relating to bringing pets into the country. When moving with a pet, it is important to check the latest regulations and customs. Make sure that you have the correct papers, not only for France, but for all the countries you will pass through to reach France. Be aware that these may differ from country to country depending on where you are relocating your pet from. Here is the general information you will need when you decide to move to France with your pet.

Pet immigration rules for France

Pets moving within Europe can take advantage of the system of European Pet Passports, which is designed for domestic animals. The Pet Passport is a booklet that provides all of the essential information on your pet, including an identification number and proof of all relevant vaccinations. The passport remains valid for the whole life of your pet.

An EU pet passport can only be issued by a vet that is licensed and all vaccinations should be kept current by the vet who also needs to ensure that the pet is micro-chipped, has had the relevant rabies vaccine and has undergone a blood test to ensure that the vaccine is present in the pet’s system. If your animal was vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted. Additionally, if your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you will have to bring your own microchip scanner. The EU pet passport serves as the certificate of health.

Please note, pets entering France from a country with a high incidence of rabies must have a Blood Titer Test one month after vaccination and three months prior to departure.

Restrictions for pet relocation

Unvaccinated pets (dogs and cats only) that are less than three months old may enter an EU country, but there are additional regulations that must be met. Certain aggressive breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry.

There are different regulations that apply when taking birds to France due to the bird flu alerts that have taken place in recent years. There is a maximum of five birds that can be taken into the country. You have a choice between a 30-day pre-export quarantine or a 30 day quarantine after the birds have been imported. If you have had the bird vaccinated to protect it from avian flu this must have taken place at least 60 days before importation or alternatively the bird can be isolated for 10 days before departure and undergo a test for avian flu after at least three days of isolation. A licensed vet must verify that these criteria have been carried out.

For other types of animals such as rabbits, rodents and reptiles you simply need a certificate that states that the animal is in good health. Horses need a horse passport. The person or company transporting the animals needs to have an export licence that must be presented to the transportation company. The horses should be micro-chipped and, as with all other types of animals, proof will need to be presented that they are in good health.

Pet insurance for relocation

Another important issue is pet insurance. Pet insurance can cover much of the expense of unexpected vet bills in case of an injury or illness, so there are several considerations when choosing pet insurance:

  • Does the policy cover all chronic, congenital and hereditary conditions.
  • Is there a time limit on treatment per condition.
  • Is there a financial limit on treatment per condition.
  • Are there flexible coverage options to fit your budget and needs exactly.
  • How well established is the company do they have reliable recommendations.

Here at Burke Bros Moving Group we have moved thousands of families to France, including those with pets! If you would like some more information or for a quote on moving to France please contact us on 01902 714555. 

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