Importing Pets to Spain
The laws regarding importing pets to Spain differ depending on what kind of animal you wish to import to Spain.
A general pet such as a cat or dog (for dangerous dog breeds see below) can be imported into Spain if:
It is accompanied by it's owner or a representative
It has a certificate of origin and health if it is more than three months old. In Great Britain this certificate can be obtained through Defra.
It has been inoculated against rabies within the last twelve months, although in certain cases this may be reduced to six months.
Birds, monkeys and other species will need a certificate stating that there has been no local outbreak of disease that would affect the species for the last 60 days.
Exporting pets from Spain to the U.K will involve you to comply with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). If you do not comply with PETS it may be necessary for your animal to go into quarantine.
Obligatory chipping of pets was introduced in March 2006 and covers dogs, cats and ferrets. To have your pet microchipped, take them to your local vet who will insert the microchip and complete the forms. The cost varies, however you can get this done for around €20. From October 2008, owners who do not chip their pets will be liable to a fine of between €500 and €2,000.
The Junta de Andalucía has imposed new regulations relating to dangerous or exotic pets considered to pose a threat either to people or the environment.
The new regulations cover such exotic pets such as crocodiles, alligators, lions, snakes, primates, various amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
* Adult Crocodiles, Alligators or other reptiles weighing in excess of 2 kilos
* Amphibians, arthropods (includes spiders, scorpions, snakes, crustaceans etc) and fish whose bite can cause significant harm to humans
* Adult primates and wild mammals weighing in excess of 10 kilos
* Carnivorous creatures weighing in excess of 5 kilos
Owners will have a period of six months to hand them in to the appropriate public facilities such as zoos or officially sanctioned private facilities. Fines for non-compliance are up to €115,000 depending upon the severity of the case.
The six month moratorium gives both the owners time to say goodbye to their pets but also allows time for the various provincial authorities to provide the necessary facilities for handling all the different kinds of creatures. At present, the infrastructure required for dealing with such a variety of species is somewhat lacking. Málaga, for example, has only one suitable centre at the present time, an unofficial SEPRONA facility.
If you are importing dogs to Spain beware, there is also a series of changes to the laws regarding what are deemed to be dangerous dogs. The legislation includes those species covered by the state law (Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Argentinian Dogo, Brazilian Fila, Toso Inu and Akita Inu) and adds the Doberman to the list. In addition, there is a new category and regulations relating to animals which have been trained to attack.
In both cases, dangerous or attack-trained, these are only allowed on public thoroughfares if controlled by an adult over the age of 18. Only one dangerous dog is permitted to walk with an adult. Dangerous Dogs in Spain must be muzzled and be attached by a lead of less than one metre. The dog is not permitted in areas of leisure used by minors, such as parks and school yards, and the dangerous dog owner must carry a Documento Autonómico de Identificación y Registro Animal (Animal Identity and Registration Document) at all times while walking the animal.
The Documento Autonómico de Identificación is obtainable from the town hall. Each Dangerous Dog Owner must be over 18 years old and comply with physical and psychological requirements by means of testing, have no felony convictions and must take out third party insurance to the value of €175,000.
The dangerous breeds themselves must undergo a training course and, in view of their inherent aggressiveness, may not be trained to attack.