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New rules for pet travel as from January 2012

New EU rules on pet travel were introduced from 1st January 2012. These changes mean that the rules on rabies vaccination for entry into Malta will be in line with the rest of Europe.
A scientific risk assessment has been carried out to find out how the changes will affect the level of risk of rabies entering Malta and other rabies-free countries. The assessment found the risk to be very low.
Dogs, cats and pet ferrets entering Malta from an EU or listed third country from 1 January 2012 must:

  • be microchipped
  • be vaccinated against rabies
  • have waited 21 days after vaccination before entering
  • have an EU Pet Passport

The previous requirement to carry out a blood test followed by a six-month wait before entry into Malta is no longer required.
From 1st January pets entering from a non-listed third country must pass a blood test 30 days after vaccination followed by a three-month wait.
Until last December, Malta and four other Member States had derogations from EU pet travel rules to allow for additional controls to protect against rabies, ticks and tapeworms.
Malta and other tapeworm-free countries (including U.K.) will retain tapeworm controls, with a requirement that dogs be treated between one and five days before returning to Malta.
Tick treatment for pet animals returning to the Malta will no longer be required. All pet owners travelling abroad with their animals should discuss with their vets the use of treatments, including those designed to control ticks as part of good animal health practice.
Cats and ferrets don`t have to be treated against tapeworms.
Malta, along with Ireland, Sweden and the UK, had an exemption from the standard EU pet travel rules. Their entry rules are now all harmonised with the rest of the EU countries.

*The Pet Travel Scheme applies to pet carnivores only, mainly dogs, cats and ferrets. It does not apply to other pet animals including rabbits, rodents and birds.

Entry rules for pets entering Malta from the EU and listed non-EU countries:

What has to be done
Before 1 January 2012
From 1 January 2012
Microchip
Yes
Yes
Rabies vaccination
Yes
Yes
Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate)
Yes
Yes
Blood test (dogs and cats)
Yes
No
Pre-entry waiting period
Yes
Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK
6 months from date  sample taken for blood test
21 days after vaccination against rabies
Tick treatment
Yes (24-48 hours before embarkation)
No
Tapeworm treatment
Yes (as for ticks)
24 – 120 hours before scheduled arrival time in Malta
 
 
 

Entry rules for pets entering Malta from unlisted non-EU countries:

What has to be done
Before 1 January 2012
From 1 January 2012
Microchip
All pets from unlisted third countries are licensed into quarantine for 6 months and vaccinated against rabies on arrival
Yes
Rabies vaccination
Yes
Blood test
Yes.  Blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination.
Documentation ( third country certificate)
Yes
Pre-entry waiting period
Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK
3 months after blood sample date
Tick treatment
No
Tapeworm treatment
24 – 120 hours before scheduled arrival time in Malta


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