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 Avian Influenza (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, designated in everyday language as "avian flu"), are still being regularly detected, especially the H5 and H7 subtypes of Avian Influenza. The H5N1 subtype of Asian origin is considered to be particularly dangerous. Humans also continue to become infected with the disease in different countries around the world. A large number of protective measures have therefore been adopted at EU level. Entry with pet birds from third countries should 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 (EU) No 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. Entry without vaccination against Avian Influenza (AI)

    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 H5 and H7 antigen or genome with negative results.

    In the case of specific countries of origin it is allowed to isolate the birds without any contact with other birds at the place of origin for at least 30 days under official monitoring. 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. We recommend that you get directly in touch with the border veterinarians of the airport of arrival in this regard because they may be able to give recommendations on possible quarantine facilities.

  4. Entry with AI vaccination

    Quarantine can be dispensed with entirely for birds vaccinated against the AI subtypes H5 and H7 if they have been vaccinated with an H5/H7 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. Stay in Germany (first 30 days)

    The birds must be moved to a household or another residence directly after their entry (exception: quarantine in EU-approved facility) and may not take part in shows, trade fairs, exhibitions or other events involving birds prior to the expiry of a 30-day time limit.

  6. Documentation for importation and import routes

    The birds must be accompanied by an 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. Carrying along the owner's declaration is always presscribed. 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.

  7. 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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