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Temporary import of pets


Temporary import of pets

A European Union regulation 998\2003\CE regulating the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals (dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.) in the European Union Member States is effective as of October 2, 2004.

According to the regulation, all pets introduced in Italy or in any other European Union Member State from the United States, must obtain a European veterinary certificate.

The document states that pet animals should:
- Be identifiable by a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic identification system (transponder/microchip), which provides the pet owner’s name and address;
- have a valid vaccination against rabies.

No tick or echinococcus preventive treatments are required to introduce pets in Italy from third countries.

For animals coming specifically from the United States (Annex II, Section C of the 998\2003\EC regulation) rabies serological test is not necessary.

Information regarding this regulation and the European Veterinary certificate are also published on the web site of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the initial application phase, pet owners will be allowed, notwithstanding the existing provisions of the new law (Commission Decision 2004\301\EC), to introduce pet animals with a different formatted veterinary certificate provided that all information pertaining to the new requirements is still available (as provided for by the 998\2003\EC law), that the certificate has been obtained prior to October 1, 2004 and that the vaccination validity date on the certificate is still current.

Additional information is available on the web site for the Italian Ministry of Health.

Passengers may enter Italy with up to a maximum of five pets as long as they are included in the following list:

- birds (small birds with the exception of parrots - see below),
- dogs, cats, fish (small size),
- common frogs,
- common reptiles,
- rodents (except rabbits and hares),
- common lizards and green lizards,
- small turtles.

Pets can enter Italy only if accompanied by their owner/s and if they have a valid health certificate issued by a certified veterinarian in the country of origin. The issue date on the certificate should not exceed 30 days prior the departure date. The certificate does NOT need to be authenticated or certified by this Consulate General.

Passengers may also enter Italy accompanied by a maximum of 2 parrots for the larger species or up to a maximum of 4 parrots for the smaller species as long as they are accompanied by a certificate of origin and health attesting that there were no cases of psittacosis in the last 12 months within a radius of 15 miles from the place of origin.

Dog owners, please note that in Italy it is mandatory to use:

A muzzle for dogs that walk on the streets or any other open space without a leash;
A muzzle and a leash for dogs led in public places and public transportation (article 83 of D.P.R. 320/54 of the Veterinary Police Regulations).