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From India to EU… making pet travel easy

Here are the prerequisites for transport of dogs from India to the EU (Germany, Austria).

5-6 months before departure

Veterinarian: Identify an authorised veterinarian in India who has experience with dogs travelling overseas. He should have microchips and a blood-serum-centrifuge at the clinic as well as a connection to EU-laboratories and a reliable courier company.

4 months before departure

Microchip + blood test: Minimum three months before the departure and minimum 30 days afterComplete Care vaccination, blood sample of the dog needs to be taken for a serological test. “This serological test for rabies has to be carried out as follows: a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml carried out on a sample taken by an authorised veterinarian at least 30 days after vaccination and three months before being moved. The titration has to be carried out in an EU-approved laboratory.” (Web source: Government of Austria: Entry and re-entry of dogs, cats, ferrets and other pets into Austria when travelling from third countries)

The blood-serum must be sent via courier (recommended: FedEx; if necessary special permissions for import of blood-samples into the EU for laboratory-tests are done by the courier company). The serum should be packed in ice immediately by the veterinarian, who then informs the courier company right away. During the transport of the serum from the Indian vet-clinic to the EU-laboratory the cold chain needs to be stable. Once at the EU-approved laboratory in the EU, the rules and regulations are the same for Austria and Germany as well as for many other EU-countries. However, check for exceptions like Finland, Malta, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Each animal has to be identified by a clearly readable microchip. The microchip number has to be identical with the number used on all forms.

2-3 months before departure

Airlines: Check the updated rules and regulations for pet travel on the website of the airlines.

  • Call before your booking to check if space is available on the plane in the cargo hold. Upto eight kg (container size up to 55x40x23 cm) the pet can travel in the cabin.
  • Book your flight tickets to the EU. Your pets must be on the same plane.
  • Register your dog(s) via phone with the airline using your booking code.
  • Purchase a flight-transport-container for your dog(s). The dog must be able to comfortably lie down and stand up in the container. Some airlines also provide a transport container. However, if you have your own, the dog can get used to it before travel. Transport containers are available at pet shops.

14 days before departure

EU-forms: The authorised veterinarian needs to examine the dog(s) maximum 14 days before departure and fill in the necessary forms: “Veterinary certificate for domestic dogs, cats and ferrets entering the European community for non-commercial movements (Regulation (EC)No 998/2003)”

48 hours before departure

Indian quarantine certificate: The last certificate needs to be obtained maximum 48 hours before departure from the Indian Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station.

Approximate expenses: costs (costs can vary)

  • Microchip + Blood sample + Service charge at the vet: 4,500 INR
  • Courier (FedEx) transport of serum from India to EU: 2,000 INR
  • EU-Laboratory Fee for Test + Certificate to be paid directly to the Lab;
    35 Euro – 75 Euro depending on the Lab (2,300) 5,000 INR
  • Flight transport: depending on the Airline; New regulations from 1st June 2011 at Austrian Airlines: Price per transport container (not weight of dog as before: 30 Euro/kg), depending on the size of container; e.g. container: 80x55x55cm (Medium size) = 150 Euro or 9,800 INR
  • Transport Container (M size) (5,500) 6,500 INR
    Sum of all costs per dog approximately is (425 Euro) 27,800 INRImportant forms, regulations and addresses: links + contacts
  • Government of Austria: “Entry and re-entry of dogs, cats, ferrets and other pets into
    Austria when travelling from third countries”
    http://www.bmg.gv.at/cms/home/attachments/3/9/2/CH1116/CMS1291991395990/rei
    severkehr_tiere_juli_2010_en_bmg_c.pdf)
  • List of important documents (Movement of Pets) Information and specimen certificate: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/nocomm_third_en.htm
  • Recommended EU approved Laboratories:
    AUSTRIA: AGES Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen, Robert Koch Gasse 17,
    A2340 Mödling, Austria, Fr. Dr. Wodak, ph: 0043(0)50555-38230, eveline.wodak@ages.at; www.ages.at/ages/ueber-uns/veterinaermedizin/formulare/tollwut-formulare/, Test done every month; Results available after 1-2 weeks;
    Costs: 57 to 70 Euro GERMANY: Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen/ Diagnostic Laboratory
    Institute of Virology Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Frankfurter Str. 107, D-35392 Giessen, Germany, Fr. Dr. Schichowski, ph: 0049(0)6419938351-63, diagnostik@vetmed.unigiessen.de, web: www.vetmed.uni-giessen.de/viro/en/diagnostik.php; Tests done 3x per week. Results available after 3 days. Costs: 35 to 45 Euro
  • List of EU-approved laboratories for serological rabies tests:
    http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/approval_en.htm
  • Recommended Vet: Dr Chaggars Dog & Cats Clinic, D-150 Saket, New Delhi-110017,
    Ph: 011-26963525, 011-26515990, 011-26564087, 011-26962774, 09810089089, Email: drchaggars@gmail.com
  • Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station:
    Dr Vijay Kumar, Quarantine Officer (SR), Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station, Kapashera,
    New Delhi – 110 037, Tel: 011-2506 3272, Fax: 011-2506 0647
  • Recommended Airlines: Lufthansa: www.lufthansa.com (Transport of Animals), Ph:+49-1 80-5747100 Austrian Airlines: www.austrian.com (Transport of Animals), Ph: +43 (0)5 1766 1001

(All information has been carefully collected by the author through interviews with various veterinaries in New Delhi, pet-parents who travelled overseas from India and through research on the internet. Some of the regulations might change very fast. Therefore please check all sources relevant for your pet and country of destination before departure).