What is the passport for?
Pet passports are used as both a health document and an identification certificate, containing your pet’s identification number and certificates of vaccination against rabies and other diseases. It also contains compulsory information (anti-tic and anti-tapeworms, for example) for particular countries (United Kingdom, Sweden and others).
In Belgium since 7 June 2004, dogs have been automatically receiving a passport when they are identified.
What the law says
Since 1 October 2004, cats, dogs and ferrets travelling in European Community countries have t be identified and have a European pet passport. 0 However, for dogs registered and identified before 7 June 2004, the passport is only compulsory for dogs that travel.
My animal is identified but doesn’t have a passport – how can I get one ?
For dogs that are already identified, you can get a passport from your vet. For cats and ferrets, contact Id-chips.
The rules about travelling with a pet (in Belgium, in the European Union or outside the EU) are set out on the website of the Service Public Fédéral Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement : Consultez les règles.
Before setting of on a journey with your pet, you need to take a few precautions. For travelling abroad, your pet must have a passport and be up-to-date with vaccinations. The main compulsory vaccination is the anti-rabies jab (anti-rabies vaccine). Some countries lay down other measures so it is best to find out from the embassy of the country you are planning to travel in or to before travelling. Find out well in advance. A good health certificate needs to be obtained for the vet for dogs. You are advised to take out insurance for your pet to cover you in the event of any problems or accidents. Either way, you need to prepare enough time in advance to be certain you have not forgotten anything.
Pay attention to heatstroke and drafts! If you are travelling by car, do not set the air-conditioning too high.
A few tips about travelling with exotics (rabbits, ferrets etc):
Small pets are small animals which are very sensitive to stress so it is recommended that they are kept calm, for example, in a basket covered with a thin sheet. In very high temperatures, dampen the cloth covering the cage to protect your pet. . Take some water and a little food with you. A treat - a water-rich vegetable such as cucumber, for example. If you are flying, find out well in advance from the airline what its rules are (some pets are accepted, but others are not, size of the travelling cage, for example) and the rule of the destination country. Usually, an exotic weighing less than 5 kg can travel on the plane with you in its travelling cage. When travelling abroad, find out about the legislation of the country of destination! In some foreign countries, travelling with a rodent is banned because these small animals are considered as pests…
Check in advance with the embassy of the country in question.
In Europe, ferrets are subject to the same rules as cats and dogs: they have to be identified with an electronic chi8p and be vaccinated against rabies. They also need a European pet passport.
For ferrets, note that the legislation of some Scandinavian countries (like Iceland) bans ferrets from that country! Also, be careful about the pet import rules for English-speaking countries !
Some countries demand a pet import health certificate, but others do not… It is therefore not simple to travel with an exotic pet, but it is possible. To avoid any last minute surprises, don’t forget to check all the rules well in advance !