A Dubai vet today commended the Ministry of Health’s release of a new set of regulations concerning the import of domestic pets, such as cats and dogs and their transit into the UAE to prevent contagious and infectious animal diseases

According to the new directive set by the Ministry, pets must now be transported in the luggage compartment and not with passengers. Cats and dogs must be presented with a permanent microchip which corresponds to a chip number registered with the Ministry of Health and owners are restricted to the import of two animals per year and must hold a previously obtained import permit.

To obtain an import permit for returning cats and dogs residing in the UAE, in case they leave it, they must comply with the following health and technical requirements:
· Microchipped
· Authorised veterinary certificate, issued by the competent authorities in the exporting country
· A copy of the veterinary health certificate issued by the Ministry while exiting

Additionally, while travelling, the animals must be accompanied with an authorised health certificate issued by veterinary authorities in line with the health certificate model as outlined by Dubai Municipality. a vaccination document or pet passport detailing the microchip number, a fulldescription of the animal including species, color, sex, date of birth and other distinguishing marks. The vaccination document must also detail all aspects of the manufacturing company, batch number, vaccination date and labels as well as any treatments previously given to the animal. The minimum age of an imported animal from low risk countries will be 15 weeks and a minimum age of 27 weeks from high risk countries.

Animal Welfare

To ensure the animal’s welfare and protection, the Ministry has outlined a set of acceptable travel conditions for the animals, including clean boxes and cages, good ventilation and light, water tight to prevent leakages or animal excretions. These regulations also apply to those pets imported by sea. Keeping in line with the import conditions, the Ministry has also implemented strict import conditions, particularly relating to animals transported from countries deemed ‘high-risk’ or ‘low-risk’ countries. This distinction refers to those countries from which there is a higher or lowerrisk of the animal carrying rabies. If found that a cat or dog has arrived from a high risk country, it must be kept isolated for a minimum of six months while undergoing antibody treatment, in its own country, before being allowed entry.

Dr. Sara Elliott at British Veterinary Hospital, said: “These new regulations see the UAE aligning itself with the global leaders in pet protection. Low risk countries are more likely to have established laws around the care and protection of animals and this new regulation will ensure there is transparency in the procedures pet owners will have to abide by when transporting their pets. Pet owners can rest easy knowing their pets will be transported in a safe and comfortable manner with all the necessary documents and certification.”

Banned Animals
The Ministry has also released the following extended list of banned dog strains and species:

Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dog
Pit Bulls
American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog
American Bull Dog
Any Mastiff or Hybrid
Mastiff Dogs
Rottweilers breed or hybrid
Doberman Pinschers
Canario Presa
Any mixed breed of above breeds or dog or their hybrid

The British Veterinary Hospital is able to provide more information relating to the welfare and care of domestic pets and can be reached at +971 4 321 8556