Cats & Dogs
More than half of French families own a pet; usually a dog (10 million) or a cat (7 million). Most French people do not buy their pet, but receive the gift, from family or friends. If you want to buy a dog in France, you can go to a kennel (chenil), get in touch with the local animal protection department (SPA – Société protectrice des animaux), look for advertisements in the local newspaper, or – if you have a purebred dog wants to purchase – what surfing on the internet and via the well-known search engines go to the French breeders of the coveted dog breed.
Officially, the seller has to hand over a paper, which is signed by both parties and in which the purchase date, variety and price are stated. Dogs and cats that are younger than 8 weeks are not allowed to be sold yet. He must also supply a veterinary certificate from the veterinarian and the tattoo papers. Dogs older than four months must have a tattoo. And in pedigree dogs, the pedigree papers must of course also be handed over to the new owner. If you come to a puppy (chiot, pronounced: sjoo) or a kitten (chaton) via the amical circuit, you will have to arrange the necessary things at the vet, such as inoculations and applying a tattoo or chip.
In addition to the usual vaccinations, one can also think of extra vaccination against those difficult signs (tiques) and against rabies. The latter is mandatory if you want to cross national borders with your dog or your cat. In the case of the anti-rabies vaccination, the owner of the animal receives a certificate. The Société Centrale Canine (SCC), the institution that is comparable to the Dutch Board of Management in the kynological field, is involved in the administration of the identification documents of the dog and the keeping of the studbooks. Raskats are registered in the cat clubs within the Fédération française féline (FFF).
When the dog is lost, the tattoo (three letters and three digits, usually made in the ear) can be reported on the Mairie or at the police. People who have found a stray dog can use the tattoo behind the address of the owner. The French Ministry of Agriculture has also approved the chip as a recognition tool for dogs and cats. The chip (la puce) is inserted by a veterinarian under the skin, to the left of the neck (costs € 46 to € 77). France is now also participating in the European recognition system. If you bring a pet tagged in the Netherlands to the final or second home in France, you should contact the Dutch Databank Companion Animals Foundation, the NDG, PO Box 74025, 1070 BA Amsterdam to ensure that all data is passed on to a French database. (SCC or FFF).
The owner or keeper of the dog is responsible for the behavior of his four-legged friend. Damage or injuries must be reimbursed; this is usually covered by third-party insurance (assurance de responsabilité civile), included in the insurance of the house. But if the damage is the result of a fault of the victim, nothing needs to be reimbursed. For example, if someone enters a house with a clear text and the chert is bitten, then that is bad luck for the victim. The owner is then not responsible.
It is also possible to take out separate health insurance policies for the pet. The level of the premium depends, among other things, on the age of the animal. A complete package for a 2 year old dog costs around € 27 per month and for a cat of that age approximately € 20. It is also possible to get a maximum of € 400 reimbursed as a dog or cat due to personal circumstances (hospitalization) for example) temporarily to a kennel. The vet has folders in the waiting room about this type of insurance.
The introduction of a European animal passport was realized on 1 October 2004. The new passport is delivered by the veterinarian and provides evidence that the animal in question has been vaccinated against rabies and has been identified by an electronic chip or, for a transitional period of 8 years, a tattoo. For young animals that can not yet be pricked, a permit can be obtained to travel.
For traveling with a dog or cat to France, the new rules are:
Rabies vaccination is necessary. The veterinarians recommend that the first time be done at least 30 days before departure.
Identification: chip (or easily readable tattoo).
Animals younger than three months: do not need to be vaccinated against rabies, but must be accompanied by the mother of whom it is still dependent, or, there must be an explanation that the young has grown up in the birthplace and not in contact until the trip has been with animals that may have been infected with rabies.
More animals: for imports of more than three animals (not reported or per person or per family, the latter is presumed) an import permit is required, to be applied for at the Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Sous- Direction Santé and Protection Animales, Office de la Protection Animlae, 251, rue de Vaugirard, 75732 Paris Cedex 15. Tel 0033 1 49 55 84 72, fax 0033 1 49 55 81 97. The application must include the past name / address of the owner and holiday address in France, duration of stay in France and indication of the number of house animals (animal species, breed, age, temporary or permanent stay). For example, if you have fewer than 3 rats or other small rodents that have to go to France, then a veterinarian’s health certificate suffices. If there are more such animals, then in addition to the health declaration, you will also need the form that has been received back from the Ministère d’Agriculture; You can download this form at the French embassy first and then fax it to the Ministere d’Agriculture.