Travelling to Italy with pets

General provisions for animals coming from eu countries and third countries

The instructions provided concern only dogs, cats and other pet animals arriving in Italy together with their owner or an authorized person designated by their owner. Therefore, such instructions do not concern the movement of animals to be sold or transferred to another owner, including adoptions. For these cases, please refer to the procedures relating to commercial movements.

Since 29 December 2014, the European Union new health legislation has entered into force (Regulation No. 576/2013 EU and Regulation No. 577/2013EU). It applies to the non-commercial movement of pet animals into a Member State from another Member State or from a third country.

Such provisions are fundamental to protect public and animal health, with particular attention to the prevention of rabies, and they help in the fight against the illegal trade in pets without putting unjustified obstacles when travelling abroad with pet animals. 

As a precautionary measure, it is generally recommended to start the procedures in good time before the estimated date of departure, since the most complex of them may require more than 4 months.

There are some general provisions concerning all dogs, cats and ferrets coming from both EU Member States and third countries:

  • dogs, cats and ferrets shall be identified by a microchip (transponder) or a clearly legible tattoo, when applied before 3 July 2011
  • it is prohibited to introduce in Italy dogs, cats and ferrets:
    1. aged less than 12 weeks that have not been vaccinated against rabies
    2. aged between 12 and 16 weeks that, although vaccinated against rabies, do not meet the validity requirements laid down in Annex III, Point 2, Letter e) to Regulation No. 576/2013 EU (the period of validity of the vaccination starts from when the protective immunity is established – not less than 21 days after completion of the vaccination protocol required by the manufacturer for the primary vaccination. It continues until the end of the period of protective immunity) and consequently are not yet protected against the disease.