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Temporary import of domestic animals

Since October 2, 2004, Regulation 998\2003\CE on veterinary requirements applicable to the introduction and transfers into the territory of the European Union of domestic animals (dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.) accompanying travelers and for non-commercial purposes has been in force.

Every pet from the United States must have a European veterinary certificate. As stipulated in the document, pets will have to:

  • be identifiable by legible tattoo or microchip;
  • be vaccinated against rabies with valid vaccinations.

For the introduction of pets (or domestic animals) into Italy from third countries, preventive treatments against ticks and echinococcus are not required.

For pets coming from the United States, Annex II, Part C of Regulation 998\2003\CE also stipulates that vaccination need not be accompanied by blood testing for titration of antibodies against rabies.

Department of Agriculture“ publishes Regulation 998\2003\CE and the model European veterinary certificate on its website.

In the initial stage of implementation of the new regulations, by way of derogation from the above, the introduction of animals with a veterinary certificate of a different format from the current one was allowed, provided that the veterinary certificate attests to the same veterinary requirements as in Regulation 998\2003\CE, was issued before October 1, 2004, and is still valid.

More information can be found at the Italian Ministry of Health website.

It is possible to bring with you, in Italy, a maximum of 5 pets, included in the following list:

  • birds (small, except parrots – see below);
  • dogs, cats, fish (small size);
  • ranids (common frogs);
  • common reptiles;
  • rodents (excluding rabbits and hares);
  • lacertids (lizards and lizards);
  • testutinids (land tortoises).

Accompanied animals may be brought into Italy only with the owner and only if provided with a certificate attesting to the animal’s good health.

The certificate does NOT have to be legalized by the Consulate General: the signature of the veterinarian of the county of residence is sufficient.

Following the traveler, the introduction into Italy of no. 2 parrots of the larger species and no. 4 individuals for the smaller species is allowed provided that the animals are equipped by a health certificate, issued by the Official Veterinary Service of the country of origin, certifying that the animals come from a place in which, for a radius of 20 km, no cases of psittacosis have occurred in the last 12 months.

It should be remembered that in Italy it is mandatory to use:

  • a suitable muzzle, for dogs walking in the streets or other place open to the public without a leash;
  • a muzzle and leash, for dogs conducted in public places and public means of transportation (Article 83 of Presidential Decree 320/54 Veterinary Police Regulations).