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How Bringing Your Pets to Thailand Featured

How Bringing Your Pets to Thailand

People with pets they consider as ‘members of the family’, would never think of leaving them behind, even when relocating half way across the world. Today, we look at what you need to consider before bringing your doggie, kittiy, bird, snake or exotic jungle animal to Thailand.

In order to import a dog or cat into Thailand there are a certain number of restrictions that you should be aware of. You will need to have a health certificate that has been issued by a certified veterinary surgeon in your home country. This health certificate will need to specify exactly which breed the animal is and how many animals are included. It will give details on the pet such as breed, sex, age and any identifying features. It will contain the contact details of the owner as well.

For the purposes of importation, a pet is classified in Thailand as an animal that is raised and fed in a family home. There are occasions when the importation of pets is restricted due to disease outbreaks such as Foot and Mouth and more information on current restrictions can be obtained from the Department of Livestock Development.

The vet will need to confirm that the pet has originated from a region where animal diseases are under control. The certificate should be clear that the animal is healthy and shows no sign of disease. The vet will need to state that there have been no outbreaks of rabies in the home country for at least the previous 12 months as well as giving details on the rabies vaccinations that have been given to the animal.

A dog being imported into Thailand will need to have been vaccinated against Leptospirosis a minimum of 21 days before leaving your home country or agree to have the dog tested for the same illness during the 30 days immediately prior to departure. All animals need to be vaccinated against other contagious illnesses such as distemper and parvovirus for dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against feline flu and feline enteritis. All vaccines used need to be approved by the Thai government and it is the responsibility of the vet in the home country to ensure that they have the correct information before administering a vaccine.

All animals need to be transported in approved pet carriers, with enough space to move comfortably. If you are travelling by air and need to do a stopover anywhere then the animals should not come into contact with any other animals. They should only be stored in approved quarantine areas. It may be that the animal will need to be held for 30 days at an approved quarantine site so that they can undergo any tests deemed necessary. The cost of this is the responsibility of the owner. Any owner that does not follow these procedures can find that the animal is deported back to the home country or it may even be the case that the animal is destroyed.

If you are taking a pet into Thailand you can do so with a commercial company who can deal with import procedures for you, or you can take the pet on a flight with you as excess baggage. When you have collected your pet you should take it to the animal import desk where you can complete all the paperwork needed. If the officer on the desk decides that the animal needs to go into quarantine it can be done there and then. You will be expected to pay any fees at this point.

A vet in your home country can arrange for you to have an export certificate issued before you leave and you should receive an import permit when you arrive in Thailand. This can be issued by the official at the animal import desk. You should also present the health certificate and ID information that has been given to you by your own vet. You cannot import a pet from a country where it has not already been resident for a minimum of 6 months.

Those who wish to import animals other than cats and dogs should consult the Department of Livestock Development. Regulations on other types of animals vary. Thailand is not a member of the PETS travel scheme, so has its own strict guidelines on how the import of animals should be handled.

Once you are in Thailand with your pet there are no regulations on the ownership of pets and you do not need a license to keep a pet. Pet supplies are readily available, particularly in urban areas at larger supermarkets but may be harder to come by in rural areas.

Useful Resources:

Department of Livestock Development www.dld.go.th Tel: 02 653 4550

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