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Jet-set pets get their own Swiss passport

Even ferrets can apply for their own passport (ferrets.ch) ferrets.ch

Swiss pets travelling abroad will be able to flash their very own red passports at immigration checks across Europe from December.

This content was published on November 29, 2004 - 10:38

While it might be difficult for immigrants to Switzerland to gain the much-coveted Swiss passport, it’s a different story for man’s best friend.

Complete with a white cross on a red background and the word “Switzerland” written in five different languages, the Pet Passport will make it possible for Swiss pets to enter European Union countries.

The 28-page document contains details including the animal’s name, sex and breed. Neither photographs nor paw prints are required.

The passports will be issued by vets across the country from December 6.

Swiss colours

Travelling pets resident in the EU have passports too but these have blue covers, unlike the burgundy passports held by two-legged EU citizens.

So, why are the passports for Swiss pets red like those of their human owners? The answer is simple, according to Marcel Falk of the Federal Veterinary Office.

“Red is the colour of Switzerland,” Falk told swissinfo.

To avoid any confusion, the new animal passport is a different shape and shade of red from that issued to Swiss citizens.

EU rules

Earlier this year, the EU laid down stringent rules governing the transport of pets into its member states, the main purpose being to prevent rabies spreading from one country to another.

The regulations came into force at the beginning of October and require animals to be marked with a tattoo or to carry a microchip under the skin with identification information.

In addition, animals must also hold a “passport”, containing information about their medical history and vaccinations record.

Both the Swiss and EU rules cover dogs, cats and ferrets.

swissinfo, Faryal Mirza

Key facts

Switzerland has 500,000 dogs and more than a million cats.
There is no data available on how many Swiss dogs and cats travel between Switzerland and the EU.

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In brief

Switzerland has introduced the Pet Passport to enable dogs and cats to travel to EU countries.

The passport has a red cover like its human equivalent.

It is available for SFr25 ($22).

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