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Travelling with pet birds

Imports of pet birds from countries outside the EU (third countries) are carried out under controlled conditions in order to prevent the introduction and spread of "avian influenza".

Entry with pet birds from countries outside the EU (third countries)

Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) (classic fowl plague, "avian flu"), including infections with the Asian subtype H5N1 that is considered particularly dangerous, are still being regularly detected in poultry. Humans continue to become infected with the disease in various countries around the world, including countries that have not previously been affected. A large number of protective measures have therefore been adopted at EU level. Entry with pet birds from third countries must take place under controlled conditions in order to prevent the introduction and spread of the agent.

Commission Decision 2007/25/EC lays down detailed rules for these imports.

Principles of the scheme

  1. Limiting the number The number of birds that may be imported under the conditions applicable to tourist travel is limited to a maximum of five animals. However, the scheme only applies to pet birds accompanying their owners from third countries. If larger lots are imported, the conditions governing commercial imports shall apply, as laid down in the Commission Implementing Regulation 139/2013.

  2. Origin The birds must come from a country that belongs to a Regional Commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The Annex to Decision 2007/25/EC contains a relevant list.
    OIE Regional Commissions

  3. Animals that have not been vaccinated against AI: Isolation or quarantine Birds that have not been vaccinated against AI must be subjected to quarantine for at least 10 days in the country of origin. Samples must be taken from the birds no earlier than on the third day of isolation. These samples must be tested for the detection of H5N1 antigen or genome with negative results. In the case of specific countries of origin it is allowed to isolate the birds at the place of origin for at least 30 days instead of placing them in quarantine for 10 days and taking blood samples. These countries of origin are listed in Annex I Part 1 and Annex II Part 1 to Regulation (EC) No 206/2010. Alternatively, the birds from these countries of origin may be placed in quarantine in an approved facility in the EU Member State of destination for a period of 30 days.

  4. Birds that have been vaccinated against AI Quarantine can be dispensed with entirely for birds vaccinated against H5 if they have been vaccinated with an H5 vaccine on at least two occasions, with the last vaccination being administered at least 60 days and no more than 6 months prior to importation.

  5. Documentation for importation and import routes The birds must be accompanied by an animal health certificate when entering the country. This has to be signed by the official veterinarian of the third country of dispatch and is valid for 10 days from the day of issue. In the case of transport by ship, the period of validity is prolonged by the duration of the sea voyage. The birds must also be accompanied by a declaration of the owner. Note: The owner's declaration is always mandatory, although both no. 4 and no. 5 may be deleted. Please note that all pets always have their documents and identity checked when entering from a non-EU country. The accompanying person must register the animal with the customs authority for this purpose.

  6. Special provisions Imports of companion birds from Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City State are exempt from the above-mentioned provisions. The provisions applicable to movement between Member States shall apply to these animals. Accordingly, up to three birds may be imported into Germany without a permit. If more than three animals are imported, an animal health certificate is required in accordance with the template in Annex E Part I of Directive 92/65/EEC.

Travelling with pet birds inside the EU

Pursuant to paragraph 38 of the Ordinance on Disease Control in the Internal Market, no more than three birds which are not intended for sale to third parties may be carried when travelling or when moving residence.

Parrots and parakeets must be accompanied by a special veterinary animal health certificate.

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