Traveling to EU with a dog

Dear all,

now, this is a really serious issue for me. I have adopted a dog while living here in Brazil. Back then, I asked my veterinarian whether there will be any difficulties when returning with her to the EU. This veterinarian is, unsurprisingly, the "tudo bom, nao se preoccupe"-type. Back then, I still believed this kind of stuff.

In any case, the time when I'll fly back is  drawing close. Which means that I freaked the f*ck out when I learned that:

-there is a comprehensive EU regulation on the "import" of animals which requires a rabies vaccination (which she has) BUT ALSO a test for rabies antibodies to check whether the vaccination worked (this I did not know)

-those tests can ONLY be done in laboratories which have officially been accredited by the EU

-there are only two such laboratories in all of Brazil. The first one had its license revoked. The other one cannot do the test right now because, wait for it, they are having trouble importing the proper diagnostic materials

-even IF a lab could do the test there would be the following problem: the test can only be done if the dog is vaccinated AND has a little chip implanted as a unique identifier

-turns out, the vaccination must take place AFTER the chip has been implanted

-my veterinarian never bothered to mention this; when I talked to him about the chip thing, I recall him saying something like "tudo bem, we'll do it later" or whatever

The first bottom line is: my visa will expire significantly earlier than it will take to a) get the chip implanted, b) give the dog another rabies shot, c) wait 30 days, d) do the test (if the laboratory works again, otherwise send the blood to a lab in a different country), e) wait 90 days, f) get some other certificate and wait 10 more days and g) fly to fucking Europe. The second bottom line is: I don't want to leave my dog here under any (!!!) circumstances.

This gets me to:

-does anybody have any experience with this? Am I missing an obvious point here? Is there some exception which makes all of this super easy? Am I misreading the finer points of EU Regulation No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals? Because I sure as hell hope so.

-has anyone ever tried getting a dog out of Brazil into the EU (or another country with stringent animal regulations) without the proper paper work? If yes, what would you say are the odds?

-finally, if somebody has a cousin or something in the Ministry of Health, write me a private message.

Disclaimer: the latter two points are obviously not condoning or encouraging illegal behavior of any sorts.

And apologies for the expletives.

So I read your post thoroughly at least 4 times, and it seems to me right now that your biggest problem is the lack of a chip, and the lab testing business is actually a lesser problem.

It sounds like your dog has been to the vet in Brazil and that vet can provide the documentation of rabies vaccination. You will need that. Vaccinations are often recorded on a hardboad type medical card with a little sticker which represents the particular vaccination internationally.  - So I think that should be not a problem for you to acquire.

I have a couple of ideas you might ponder.

Lab tests and health certificates are not international like vaccinations are. That stuff is almost always done in the native language of the health care provider and on forms from the country of origin. In your case that would be Portuguese/Brazil.

I have never seen international animal control demand translated pet documents (that why common vaccinations have internationally recognized stickies). It is entirely possible you could *somehow* manage to get a Brazilian document for your pet that would satisfy them, since outside of Portugal probably no EU pet inspector would be able to read a Brazilian document of any kind anyway.

I say that as I have have moved cats internationally several times and all the documents from the original vet were completely unreadable in the destination country. Like the time I had reams of health certificates and exit visas and all kinds of crap in Chinese when the cats arrived in the US. Yeah, there was nobody in US customs who read Chinese veterinary documents. That stuff is all basically useless.

What you do really need though is that chip. The EU is pretty strict about incoming pets being chipped. You won't be able to skate that.

So get the dog chipped, get the rabies sticker, get some kind of other Brazilian document for lab test stuff. I think it will go. Seriously.

And do remember that it is the airline you need to negotiate with to fly the dog overseas. They all have their own rules and regulations and requirement and charges. You need to look into that right away.

The chip is doable. You're only missing one dumb document (which I think you can weasel).

Think about it.

Ok thanks a ton - do you have any idea which information, precisely, the chip contains? Does it say *when* it was implanted, or is it just the serial number? Because, in that case, I'd get her chipped and ask my vet to accordingly "adjust" the paper work. I mean, he knows it was *her* that got vaccinated, not some other dog - then we would just pretend that the vaccination took place after the chipping.

Do you think that would work?

Thanks again!

I don't know if the chip has an implant date, but I doubt it.

Talk to your vet, get the chipping done, explain the issue with the lab tests, and find a work around for the documentation. I can't imagine why he wouldn't be able to accommodate some paperwork that will suffice, of course it may cost a bit 'extra'.

I'm totally optimistic you can do this.

Have you worked this out?
I've sent from Brasil to various locations,  brought mine from US to Rio in 01,  retrieved my  blind, maniacal Shitzshire in '13 & arranged to get a standard Dachshund at same time from DIB, a rescue in Teresopolis outside Rio.
Hopefully you've worked it out and sorry I didn't do more perusing earlier.
EU was more difficilt than US but less so than six Yorkies and a Shiba Inu to Saudi. Haha
If you're having probs get in touch.
Can even arrange for cool spot for her if there's a delay, no kidding!
Dar um jeitinho! :*)
Means there IS a way.
Btw, I WENT BACK to get my 8 yr old *blind mutt* and adopt an emaciated, nearly dead, mangy, weiner dog and would do it again without hesitation.
I understand and will do all in my power to help.

Dear all,

just in case someone faces the same problem, some quick notes on how things work. As I wrote above, the legal requirements for exporting dogs (only to the EU, probably very different for other countries) are:

-chip the dog
-check for sufficient level of rabies antibodies
-90 days after the collection of the blood for the antibodies test, get some permit (CZI) from the office of the ministry of agriculture (at large airports, for instance)
-get health certificate from your vet - this one is valid for 10 days.

Regarding the chip - vaccinate sequence, it is quite easy to have a favorably-inclined laboratory technician make the necessary adjustments so that the dates are in order (in case you vaccinated your dog first). The most difficult part is the antibodies test. Cannot be done in Brazil. They offer to send the blood to some English laboratory, but prices are steep (R$ 1200 or something like this). For comparison, other European laboratories offer the test for something like R$ 100. So, if you know of a way to transport the blood out of Brazil, that would be the way to go. If you happen to know someone with a dog already in Europe, you could obviously ask for a blood donation and combine it with your Brazilian documents, thus avoiding the export problem (obviously only if you are 100% sure that both dogs have had the same vaccination or something...). I would also highly recommend checking with the ministry of agriculture early on so that they can verify whether all the documents are in order.

Maybe all of this saves somebody else some sleepless nights in the future ;).

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