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Transport of Animals

Regulation

Domestic flights

For dogs over three months, it’s required:
- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011);
- Proof that the rabies vaccine has been administered to the animal through health bulletin or "Pet Passport", which contains the name and address of the owner.

• For dogs under 3 months (8 weeks to 12 weeks):
- A veterinary certificate is mandatory, containing the owner’s name and address, as well as the motive and the period during which the suspension of vaccination is expected to continue.

• For other animals that do not have a health bulletin:
-Health certificate issued by a veterinarian authorized by the competent authority stating that the animal has all health conditions and is fit to travel to the final destination, issued within 5 days before the scheduled departure date.

European Flights

It’s necessary to remark that on flights to/from the European Union (except countries where specific rules apply: United Kingdom, Swedish and Malta), according to Reg. EU 998/2003, passengers carrying Dogs, Cats and Ferrets over 3 months or more must be in the possession of:

- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011). Any vaccination against rabies before the identification is not considered valid;
- Proof of valid anti rabid vaccination or revaccination done when the animal was at least 3 months old. The anti-rabies vaccination will be considered valid 21 days after completing the primary vaccination or immediately after revaccination, as long as the protocols and the validities’ periods required by the manufacturer are respected.
 
For other animals: Health certificate issued by a veterinarian authorized by the competent authority stating that the animal has all health conditions and is fit to travel to the final destination, issued within 5 days before the scheduled departure date. 

Flights originating in Third Countries and returning to Portugal:

Companion animals with non-commercial purposes will be considered if transported in a number of 5 and accompany their owner or an authorized person during non-commercial movements, remaining under the responsibility of the owner or the authorized person.

Dogs, cats and ferrets:
When the animals originate from a country or territory without any risk of rabies (for example: Canada, United States of America, among others):
- Electronic identification by micro chipping or legible tattoo (preferably applied before July 3rd, 2011). Any vaccination against rabies before the identification is not considered valid;
- Proof of valid anti rabid vaccination or revaccination, done when the animal was at least 3 months old. The anti-rabies vaccination will be considered valid 21 days after the completion of the primary vaccination or immediately after revaccination, as long as the protocols and the validities’ periods required by the manufacturer are respected.
- Health certificate validated by an official authority if it was filled by an authorized veterinarian when coming from third countries.

NOTE: The reintroduction of animals who have moved to countries outside the EU is allowed with the presentation of the Pet Passport, avoiding the achievement of an official certificate in those countries. However, it is necessary to comply with the health conditions established in those countries and conduct blood analysis for verification of the number of antibodies (enough) with respect to the disease (antibody titration), if applicable. In this case, before departing from Portugal or from another EU country, the passport must be filled by an authorized veterinarian.

- The control of these animals in structures called Travelers' Entry Points (ports and airports) is mandatory. The owner must notify the competent authority in the Traveler’s Entry Point in writing. The notification must be made by the owner or authorized person, designated and authorized through a form, available at www.dgv min-agricultura.pt, completed in the 48 hours before the arrival of the animals.

For other domestic animals (except dogs, cats and ferrets):
- An authorization from the DGAV (Portuguese National Authority for Animal Health) validating the required health conditions for the transportation of the species is necessary.
-  Specific health documentation as a health certificate stating, when applicable, the health conditions required by the DGAV (Portuguese National Authority for Animal Health).

When animals originate from a country or territory with risk of rabies (for example: Brazil, Venezuela, Ukraine, Africa, among others), in addition to the valid identification and the anti-rabid vaccination, it’s also necessary:
- Blood test for checking the number of sufficient antibodies for rabies (carried out in laboratories approved by the EU, at least 1 month after vaccination against rabies, whether it’s the first time the animal is vaccinated, whether it’s a revaccination);
- The completion of a period of 3 months to movement of animals to Portugal, from the date of blood collection for the analysis above. (However, this 3 month period does not apply in the return of an animal that already left the community space with this analysis performed with favorable outcome, provided that the conditions referred above were fulfilled);
- Health certificate validated by an official authority if it was filled by an authorized veterinarian when coming from third countries.
- The control of these animals in structures called Travelers' Entry Points (ports and airports) is mandatory. The owner must notify the competent authority in the Traveler’s Entry Point in writing. The notification must be made by the owner or authorized person, designated and authorized through a form, available at www.dgv min-agricultura.pt, completed in the 48 hours before the arrival of the animals.

Commercial Service

- When booking, you must inform the type of animal to be carried, the dimensions of the container and the total weight of both. The booking will be subject to a posterior confirmation.
- Choose flights as direct as possible, once climate changes to which the animal will be exposed in the intermediate stopovers might affect its well-being;
- You must check the destination(s) involved and confirm/get all the necessary documentation for the origin/intermediate destinations;
- Animals with more than 45kg will be carried as cargo;
- Large animals or considered dangerous will be carried as cargo;

List of species accepted in the cabin or in the cargo compartment:

- Dogs, cats and ferrets;
- Other small animals:
• guinea pigs;
• Hamsters;
• Chinchillas;
• Aquarium fish;
• Parakeets (only in the cargo compartment);
• Canaries (only in the cargo compartment).

The species listed below are no longer accepted as checked baggage:
- Farm animals (for example: sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats, pigeons, etc.);
- Reptiles (for example: snakes, iguanas, chameleons, turtles, tortoises, etc.).
- Breeds classified as potentially dangerous in accordance with the Portuguese Law:
• Fila Brasileiro,
• Dogo Argentino,
• Pit Bull Terrier,
• Rottweiler,
• American Staffordshire Terrier,
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
• Tosa Inu.

- However, some of these animals, depending on the species, may be carried in the cargo compartment. If in doubt, contact our Cargo Service.

Pet Transportation in the Cabin

- Small pets may be carried in the cabin in a proper container, cage or waterproof bag (up to 8kg) that allows the animal to stand up, turn and lie down;
- The doors must have a fully secure locking system;
- The container must be properly ventilated to a proper air circulation (at least on 3 areas, including the door);
- Ventilation openings must be small to prevent that any part of the animal comes out.
- The container must be made of a strong material to be escape-proof and leak-proof (waste and urine) and isn’t easily destroyed by the animal from the inside;
- Absorbent material must be placed on the inside (newspapers, blankets, paper towels, etc.)
Examples of containers for carrying animals in the cabin:
contentores_cabine

- Containers cannot be placed on the seats of the airplane and the animal cannot be removed from the container during the entire flight;
- If possible, the animal should travel in a seat by the window to its safety and comfort.

 

Pet transportation in the Cargo Compartment

- For air transport, in general, animals should be carried only in properly sealed containers.
Requirements for purchasing/constructing:
- Containers have to be strong, hard, safe and rigid;
- Dimensions may vary according to the length, width and height of the animal;
- Handling bars and handles must be included in the construction of the container so that it can be safely handled and loaded;
- The container must be properly ventilated to a correct air circulation;
- One end of the container (considered as a door) must open and must be covered with bars, welded mesh or soft expanded metal firmly fixed to the container so that the animal cannot move it;
-Doors must be completely secure and reinforced to prevent any accidental opening.

DOGS AND CATS

Container requirements for transportation in the cargo compartment:
- Construction materials: Fiberglass, rigid plastic, metal, solid wood or plywood.

A = Animal’s length from the nose to the tail’s root;
B = Height from the ground to the elbow;
C = Distance between shoulders;
D = Animal’s height in position (top of the head for pets with non-erect ears up - the tips of the ears for pets with erect ears).
- The container’s length must be equal to:
A + 1/2 B. (domestic flights) A + B (international flights);
- The width of the container must be equal to Cx2 (domestic flights) and (C + 3cm) x 2 (international flights).
- The height (flat or rounded top) must be equal to D (domestic flights) and D +7cm (international flights).
especificação_contentor 1 = Handles

2 = Side Ventilation

3 = Locking Pins

4 = Handle Bars

5 = Plastic Brackets

- Plastic doors are allowed, provided that the hinges and pins are made of metal and sufficiently thickened to ensure their attachment;
- Large doors require additional hinges and two or three secure means of fixation to be totally safe (ex.: plastic brackets; pins, etc.);
- Ventilation openings must be small to prevent that any part of the animal comes out.
- If the container has wheels, they must be removed or blocked;
- The sides of the container must be solid and must contain holes or mesh for proper ventilation;
- The inside must be smooth and without protrusions that the animal can bite or scratch, causing any kind of damage or compromising the security of the container;
- The upper part of the container must be solid, but ventilation holes are allowed over the entire surface, as long as the safety of the container is not compromised;
- Food and water containers must be present inside the container with access from the outside to use in case of delays or in transfer stopovers, following the indications of assistance provided by the owner or an authorized person. If sealed, an extra amount of food should be attached to the outside of the container;
- Due to its size and weight, certain species require reinforced containers or containers made of metal.

contentores_animais

Recommendations to prep the animal for travelling

- Book a direct flight whenever possible;
- Feed the animal with only a light meal and a short drink approximately two hours before the flight and exercise the animal immediately before dispatch;
- Pregnant females will not be accepted, once the stress caused by the transport can cause a miscarriage and even anticipate the birth during the flight;
- Confirm with your veterinarian that your pet is fit to travel. It is recommended to responsible animal owners, a timely appointment with a veterinarian who will prepare the animals and the necessary documents for the trip and who will be acquainted with the animal’s health status;
- The use of tranquilizers/sedation is not advisable once the effects of tranquilizers on animals at higher altitudes are unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer to your pet must be made by your veterinarian. If you believe that some type of sedation can be useful, be sure to obtain and follow the advice of a veterinarian;
- Tie a dose of extra food to the outside of the container for cases of requests for assistance in the intermediate scales, if indicated by the shipper, or in cases of unexpected flight delays;
- To avoid the risk of damaging the bladder of large ungulates, it is preferable to give liquids not less than two hours before delivering the animal at the check-in.

Make sure that your pet gets familiar with the container before the trip. It’s recommended that:
- You leave the container open at home with a familiar object inside so that the animal spends time in it;
- You start with only the bottom half of the container available to your pet. When he gets used to being indoors, put the upper half and leave the door open.
- For a tranquil trip, it’s essential that your pet is familiar with the container.