Importing pets to Switzerland
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All countries regulate the importation of animals in some shape or form. Swiss regulations are fairly flexible, due to the small territory and the large number of foreign visitors.

Cats and dogs
Cats and dogs may be imported into Switzerland without a permit. A border veterinary inspection is not required for animals that are accompanied, except when more than three animals are imported together.

As a general rule, animals are not quarantined upon their arrival to Switzerland. However, if you are returning to a country that applies this treatment, even after a few hours on Swiss soil, your animal will be quarantined. Such is the case for Australia, where the quarantine lasts several months. England and Ireland have recently relaxed their policy whereby quarantine is no longer necessary if a special veterinary vaccination certificate is produced.

Vaccination certificates
A veterinary rabies vaccination certificate is compulsory, stating that the vaccination took place at least 30 days and no longer than one year before crossing the border. The 30-day waiting period need not be observed if there is proof of revaccination.
The certificate must be written in either German, French, Italian or English and contain the following information:
  • Name and address of animal owner
  • Description of the animal (breed, sex, age, color)
  • Confirmation that the animal was submitted to a veterinary examination prior to vaccination and found in good health
  • Date of rabies vaccination, type of vaccine used, name of manufacturer and batch number
  • Signature of the veterinarian.

Certificates issued in languages other than those stipulated must be accompanied by a legal translation.

Certain animals can be imported without a rabies vaccination certificate:

  • Cats and dogs from rabies-free countries that forbid rabies vaccinations (Australia and New Zealand).
  • Puppies and kittens up to five months of age from European countries (except Turkey and the States of the former Soviet Union) or from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A veterinary health certificate stating the animal’s age must be produced.
  • Cats and dogs traveling through Switzerland by air or rail without a stopover.

Importing restrictions
The importation of dogs with clipped ears and/or cropped tails is prohibited if the animals are less than five months old. Young dogs belonging to foreign owners, however, are admitted for temporary importation.

Other animals
Guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, aquarium fish and canaries can be imported without a veterinary certificate.
An import permit and veterinary certificate are required for certain domestic animals such as horses, parrots, turtles and ferrets. Requests for permits must be submitted to the Federal Veterinary Office (FVO) three to four weeks in advance. You can download forms from the FVO site.
Dangerous animals such as poisonous snakes, tigers, bears and trap-door spiders also require an import permit from the FVO. Furthermore, owners must obtain a special permit from their Cantonal Veterinary Office .

Federal Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgerstrasse 161, 3097 Liebfeld-Berne, Tel.: (+41) (0)31 323 85 02

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