The Good Life France

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Taking your pet to France from the UK

The requirements for taking your pet to France from the UK require constant checking since the UK departed from the European Union.

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about what type of animal you can and can’t take to France from the UK what medical treatment you need to prove and what medication for your pet you can and can’t take. We recommend you check the UK Government website which gives the most up to date information. And check with your vet before you travel as rules and requirements can and do change from time to time.  Your vet should also be able to help you with requirements and will also recommend any other treatments he/she feels might be suitable for your pet.

Taking your pet cat, dog or ferret to France on a permanent basis

For taking pets such as cats and dogs to France on a permanent basis, the basic requirements are in required order (which is important, if you vaccinate before you get the ID sorted you’ll have to re-vaccinate):

1. Identification: clearly readable tattoo or microchip under the skin (this is an electronic identification system) – this should be specified in the pet passport (3)

2. Valid vaccination against rabies (first vaccination and boosters) this should be specified in the pet passport (3).  You must wait 21 days until after the first full anti-rabies vaccination to take the animal into France.

3. EU pet Passport attesting valid rabies vaccination delivered by a Government-approved vet (in the UK, a local veterinary inspector). The passport also provides for a record of other past vaccinations, but a valid rabies vaccination will be the sole requirement for pets from EU Member States to enter into France. A Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) certificate is not acceptable for entry to France.

Make sure your vet records the following details on your pet’s passport and on a vaccination record:

Your pet’s date of birth/age,

Microchip number, date of insertion and its location in your pet,

Date of vaccination,

Vaccine manufacturer, product name and batch number and

Date by which the booster vaccination must be given (i.e. the “Valid until” date).

The UK Government recommends that pets are treated for tapeworms and ticks but this is not mandatory.

They also recommend you take check with your vet about any other treatments that he/she feels will benefit your animal against contracting common diseases in Europe such as distemper etc.

Taking veterinary medicines to France for pets (cats, dogs and ferrets)

If you purchase veterinary drugs for your pets in the U.K., you may take them to France if you are accompanied by pet(s) under medical treatment. You will need the prescription which proves that a vet prescribed the drugs for your animal and that you have bought them legally – keeping the receipt will help. You need to keep all the necessary papers (prescription) which justify the purchase of veterinary drugs.

Taking pets such as: bird, reptile, amphibian, insect, invertebrate, fish, rodents and lagomorphs (rabbit, guinea-pig, hamster, mouse, rat, etc.)

You are allowed to take pets that fall into the following categories with you to France and you don’t need a pet passport for them: bird, reptile, amphibian, insect, invertebrate, fish, rodents and lagomorphs (rabbit, guinea-pig, hamster, mouse, rat, etc.).

You will need to obtain certificates issued by a local veterinary inspector (a private veterinary surgeon who is allowed to issue certificates for the import/export of pets) to travel with your animal:

I. A certificate of good health (in both languages) to testify that your pet carries no signs of disease, in particular of any contagious disease specific to its species (for example, myxomatosis for rabbits, etc.). This certificate should be issued between 1 and 5 days before entry of the animal into France.

2. The owner of the animal must declare that: “He/she is the owner of the animal that he/she is accompanying and he/she will not sell it on.”

Approved routes

The UK Government requires that pets travelling into the UK must be transported using only approved routes.  The French authorities do not apply restrictions on routes of transport of pets between the UK and France. The use of private means of transport is allowed.

Routes approved for transport from France to the UK are listed on the UK Govt. website:

Dangerous dogs rules in France

Dangerous dogs in France are classified in 2 categories:

Category 1 : attack dogs – They are dogs whose appearance is of American Staffordshire terrier (pit-bulls), Mastiff (boerbulls) and Tosa types (i.e. without pedigree). It is prohibited to introduce these dogs into France.

Category 2: defence and guard dogs – They are dogs of American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, and Tosa breeds (i.e. with pedigree), and dogs of a Rottweiler type (without pedigree).

American Staffordshire Terrier breed Known until 1972 under the name of Staffordshire Terrier – Not to be confused with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is not listed as a dangerous dog.

Under French law all owners of dangerous dogs (category 1 and 2) in France must hold a certificate of aptitude for keeping a dangerous animal, delivered by an approved trainer, and a licence (permis de détention) for the animal, provided by the town hall (mairie) of residence. The UK Government advise that you should avoid taking animals in Category 2 to France even on holiday unless you have a French authorised licence as you could be fined by the French authorities.  It will be necessary to take an exam which is in French and lasts a whole day whilst you are observed by an examiner but you may be able to take an interpreter with you on request.  Check at your local Mairie for more details.

If you want to take an animal to France from a non-EU country you will need to check with your vet or Embassy to be sure of the rules.

Useful websites:

UK Government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-and-from-great-britain

France in the United Kingdom French Embassy 

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