Time to read: Approximately 4 minutes
To prevent the spread of the viral disease rabies, each country will have its own biosecurity requirements for the import and export of animals. Requirements do differ between countries so make sure to get your information directly from the relevant Animal Quarantine Authorities in both your destination/s and home country.
Note that the information available online is often updated frequently and can be overwhelming, so it is helpful to get in contact with the Animal Quarantine Authority about the specifics of your trip via phone or email. They will be able to clarify exactly which requirements apply in your situation.
Please note that the following information is provided just to give you a basic sense of how requirements can be determined and what those requirements might be. As above, there are differences between countries so always check with official sources.
- Typically, a country's Animal Quarantine Authority will classify other countries into groups based on their rabies status. Accordingly, requirements may differ depending on which country you are coming from and where you have recently travelled to. For example, stricter requirements will operate if you are coming from/have recently visited a country with a risk of rabies transmission than if you are coming from/have recently visited a rabies free country.
- Whilst not always the case, it is common for Animal Quarantine Authorities to require proof that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies and has had any requisite boosters. This likely means that you will need to provide a complete vaccination record signed off by a veterinarian (potentially one that is on a government-approved list). Additionally, some countries require a rabies neutralising antibody titre test (RNATT) to be performed. This involves checking for the presence of antibodies that neutralise rabies in your dog's blood. There will be a waiting period between the time your dog is vaccinated and when the RNATT can be performed (typically around 30 days).
Official Sources per Country
TravelPaws has compiled the following official sources of information about the rabies requirements in the listed countries.
We will endeavour to continue expanding this resource to cover additional countries.
The The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is the relevant Animal Quarantine Authority.
DAFF classifies countries into different groups depending on their rabies status. They provide step-by-step guides on the requirements that apply based on the grouping of the country you are travelling from.
Note that DAFF recently conducted a review into the rabies virus risk in imported dogs, cats and canine semen from approved countries, and have subsequently made some changes to import conditions which have been effective since March 1, 2023. You can read about these changes at the link provided.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is the relevant Animal Quarantine Authority.
MPI has put together a guide for importing Assistance Dogs, available at the link provided. Within this guide are the Import Health Standard, Guidance Document, and Assistance Dog Support Document, which provide information on NZ's rabies requirements. Note that MPI classifies countries into categories and the requirements differ depending on which category the country you are travelling from falls into.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the relevant Animal Quarantine Authority.
The rabies requirements that apply to you will depend on the risk of rabies in the country you are travelling from and countries you have recently visited. A step-by-step guide is available at the link provided.
Please note that the CDC's temporary suspension for dogs imported from high-risk countries for rabies has been extended through July 31, 2023. Visit the CDC website or contact them directly for information on dogs entering the U.S from high-risk countries.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the relevant Animal Quarantine Authority.
The CFIA classifies countries according to their rabies status, prescribing different requirements depending on where you are travelling from. Requirements also differ based on whether your dog meets the CFIA definition of an Assistance Animal, or is classified as a pet or commercial import.
To find out which requirements apply in your situation, contact the CFIA and/or fill out the short questionnaire at the bottom of the linked CFIA Guide on Bringing Animals to Canada. Note that Assistance Dogs trained by an ADI or IGDF accredited organisation that are accompanying their Handler may be exempt from rabies vaccination requirements.
European Union (plus Northern Ireland)
EU countries will each have their own Animal Quarantine Authority, though rabies requirements are based on common EU law.
A good place to start is the Your Europe Guide on EU Rules for Travelling with Animals. If you scroll to the bottom of the page and select the country you are travelling from, an overview of the rabies requirements that apply will appear.
EU rabies requirements can also be found in the European Law on the Non-Commercial Movement of Pets.
A note on Northern Ireland:
Per the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), “Under the NI Protocol, from 1 January 2021, the EU Pet Travel Regulation continues to apply to travel between NI, EU Member States and Third Countries. In other words, NI remains part of the EU Pet Travel Scheme.”
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is the relevant Animal Quarantine Authority.
An overview of the rabies requirements for entering Great Britain are available online at the link provided. Note that they differ depending on whether you are travelling from a country classified by the government as a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country OR an unlisted country.
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