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Quarantine rules for international pet travel to Switzerland

Pet quarantine is, perhaps, one of the most misunderstood aspects of international pet travel. Many pet parents are hesitant to travel with their beloved fur babies because of the fears and misconceptions around pet quarantine.

Not all countries quarantine pets upon entry; quarantine is mandatory in countries like Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, etc. These countries are known for their strict bio-security laws, which warrant mandatory pet quarantine. Many other countries, such as Spain, Germany, etc., do not impose pet quarantine as long as all pet import conditions are met satisfactorily.

If you are travelling to Switzerland with your pet dog or cat, here’s all you need to know about pet quarantine rules for international pet transport to the country.

Why are pet quarantines important?

As we have seen with the novel coronavirus, contagious diseases can easily spread from one country to another. Our pets can harbour microorganisms that can introduce exotic diseases into the country. When an exotic microorganism is introduced into a country where it was previously not present, it can spread rapidly and cause widespread illness in animals and humans, if the organism causes a zoonotic disease.

New microorganisms can disturb the fragile ecological balance and bring about widespread disease and destruction. By placing pets in quarantine when they arrive in the country, officials can monitor the pet’s health and ensure they are free from diseases before entering the country.

Pet quarantines can last from five days to six months, depending on the country. Pets are housed separately and groomed and exercised by the staff. Some quarantine centres allow pet parents to visit and groom their pets. Following all pet import regulations faithfully is important to avoid extended pet quarantines.

Pet quarantine regulations in Switzerland

Switzerland does not have mandatory pet quarantine for dogs and cats entering the country as long as your pet follows all pet transport regulations satisfactorily. However, pet dogs and cats travelling to Switzerland will be examined upon entry to check if all import parameters are met and whether the pets are in good health.  

The pet import rules for transport to Switzerland include:

  • Microchip – All pets need an ISO-compliant 15-digit microchip to travel to Switzerland. The microchip number must be recorded in all pet travel documents accurately.
  • Vaccinations – Pets travelling to Switzerland from other EU member countries and countries with a low incidence of rabies must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the date of travel.
  • Rabies titre test – Pet dogs and cats travelling from non-listed high rabies risk countries need to undergo the rabies neutralising titre test (RNATT) 30 days after the rabies vaccination. The sample must be sent to an EU-authorised lab for analysis. Only pets that show an antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml can enter Switzerland.
  • Health certificate and import permit – The health certificate must carry information about the pet, vaccination details, health tests and treatments. The import permit is issued by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office in Switzerland for pets flying in from high-risk countries.
  • Banned breeds – The import of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails are banned in Switzerland. Such dogs are not allowed to be advertised, sold, given away or exhibited at a show in Switzerland. The country also bans the import of certain aggressive dog breeds.

International pet transport to Switzerland

Pet transport to Switzerland can be confusing, especially if you are travelling with your pet for the first time. Partnering with an experienced pet travel agency will ensure your pet has a safe and stress-free journey. An IPATA-accredited pet travel agent will prioritise your pet’s comfort and make sure your pet has a pleasant pet travel experience.

If you are travelling to Switzerland with your pet dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for more information on pet quarantine and a free pet transport quote.