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Like most EU countries, The Netherlands is a member of the Pet Travel Scheme introduced in 2004 which allows pet carnivores (dogs, cats and ferrets) from any of the countries covered by the scheme to be brought into the country without quarantine provided they meet specified anti-rabies, blood sampling and anti-worm/anti-tick hygiene requirements.
To qualify for entry to the Netherlands under this scheme, the pet must be fitted with an identification microchip; must be vaccinated against rabies within one year and at least 30 days before the move, and blood tested to check the effectiveness of the rabies vaccination, and be issued with an Official Pet Passport (or a Pet Travel Scheme Certificate) by a recognized veterinary surgeon in the country that the animal is moving from. The Pet Passport includes a full description of the pet including the breed, sex, colour age and any distinguishing marks, as well as the name of the owner.
A health certificate is required to bring some other animals into the Netherlands, including birds, horses and cows, but some small pets such as rabbits, hares and fishes do not require a Pet Passport or Health certificate.
Animals can only be brought into the Netherlands as pets if they are not going to be subsequently sold or traded. Pets which do not hold a valid passport will be vaccinated on arrival in the Netherlands and kept in quarantine for a period of 30 days.
Arrangements to transport your pet into the Netherlands and advice on the import regulations can be provided by specialist organisations such as KLM Cargo. There are animal boarding facilities at Schiphol Airport if needed on arrival.
Dutch people are mostly very fond of animals, and many families have pets such as dogs, cats, birds, fish, rabbits or hamsters, while some have larger or more exotic pets such as horses or reptiles. Veterinary services are excellent in the Netherlands, and there are even specialised animal hospitals, medical transport services and even pet crematoriums. There are also dog-walking services, and boarding facilities for pets (dierenpension). There are many pet shops selling animals, pet food, equipment, toys and other pet necessities.
A tax is payable by dog owners.
Further details follow:
Dogs, cats and ferrets from EU Member States
From 3 July 2004, the non-commercial movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets within the European Union must comply with the following veterinary requirements:
In the Netherlands, EU passports for pet animals are publised by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Diergeneeskunde (Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association), Full Service Bureau Dierenasielen Nederland, Vereniging van Beroepsmatige Kennelhouders and Stichting Chip. The EU passports published by these four organisations are approved by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Pet owners can apply to their veterinarian to obtain an EU passport for their pet. They will receive a Dutch version of the passport.