Bringing Pets to Turkey: Regulations, and Procedures
While traveling or moving abroad with our furry friends, there are certain things to consider and procedures to go through. Knowing everything related to relocating our pets bears significant importance for their safety and security.
A great part of pet owners considers them as their own flesh and blood. Their security comes first in some situations. Since they have no chance to defend themselves against external effects, we have to make sure of their safety and comfort. And to do so, pet owners must go through certain legal procedures to safeguard their own pets while traveling.
Each government takes security precautions for pets brought to their country from abroad. Their primary aim is to safeguard their people and maintain a healthy living environment in their country. Every country gives a place to regulations about owning a pet or entering the country with a pet in their constitutions.
The Turkish government has also set some ground rules for bringing pets with non-trade purposes to their country. There are limitations on things like animal species or the number of pets that could be brought to the country. Pet identity and healthcare records are also among the things that are being considered.
Rules of Relocating Your Pet to Turkey
The Turkish government requires that the pet which is being brought to Turkey must fit certain criteria. These can be sorted as having necessary vaccinations or being microchipped and identified. Also, it is important that your pet should not belong to a specie that is labeled as a threat to humans. Let’s have a look.
• There are some restrictions on pet species. There is a circular in Turkey for pets that are imported to Turkey for non-trade purposes. It clearly sorts the animal species that can enter the country.
Cats, dogs, and ferrets are the most commonly brought animals to Turkey. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs determines the entering decision when it comes to certain species. These include invertebrate animals except for poultry animals, bees, and crustaceans.
It is also a question in mind whether some amphibians, aquarium fishes, birds, pet rabbits, and reptilians could enter the country under certain conditions. These animal breeds have a wide variety of sub-species and some might be dismissed at the border. It would be best to consult authorities before the travel date, just to make sure.
Some animals can be exempted from customs duty such as dogs, cats, and birds (except for poultry). However, there is a limitation with 2 pets (cats and dogs) or 10 aquarium fish.
• The pest must be accompanied by a passenger. It is not possible to bring a pet without an owner. An accompanist who is familiar with the pet’s behavior should be present to handle the paperwork and manage the logistics.
• On the border gates of the country, there are appointed veterinarians whether you’re traveling via airways, road, or sea transport. These authorities are responsible to examine the animals before their admission to the country.
• Any animal that is about to enter the country must be identified with a tattoo or microchip system. If a pet is identified by microchipping, the chips must meet the universal criteria of transponders. If not, the pet owner must provide the transponder that is compatible with the microchip.
• The most important condition is to have your pet vaccinated against rabies. It is important to make sure that the pet vaccination date suits the required validation period. Turkey requires pet cats or dogs to be vaccinated for rabies between 30 days and 12 months before their entry. You should have your pet's original rabies vaccination certificate with you while entering Turkey.
Rabies vaccination is a major pet travel requirement and one of the core vaccines. It also has power over some other conditions. For example, it is not possible to bring your newborn pet to the country.
The main reason for it is that they cannot get rabies vaccinations before 3 months of age. In this case, the situation of the pet will be determined by the government authorities.
• The pets must have their own private passports and animal health certificates. The pet passports are booklets that include vaccination dates, brands, and past data about the healthcare of the pet. The authorities require it to make sure that your pawed companion meets all necessary healthcare precautions of their species. It is a must-have while relocating with your whiskered and furry seatmate.
• While traveling via airways, pets that weigh less than 8 kg are allowed to travel in the flight cabin. However, if they weigh more than the 8-kg limit, they must travel in the special compartment, separate from the cabin.
Also, keep in mind that only one pet is allowed per owner. If you have two or more pets traveling with you, you can only keep one of them in the cabin. The rules can be changed depending on the airlines, so it would be best to consult them and make reservations beforehand.
Which Documents Do You Need for Pet Transport to Turkey?
All of the documents are required for the identification of the pet. These documents also state the pet’s well-being, just to make sure of its safety and security. The Turkish government requires the following conditions while traveling with a pet:
• Pet Passport
• Original of the rabies antibody titration test (You can see the authorized institutions for rabies vaccination in your country from the official page of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.)
• Veterinarian Pet Health Certificate (Must be obtained by the veterinarian authority of the departure country. )
• Pet carrier (Only two carrier is accepted for each passenger, but only one of them can travel in the flight cabin.)
According to the regulation, only 2 (two) pets can be brought to the country with a single passenger. You should prepare these documents separately and for each one of them.
Good to Know: Tips to Make the Relocation Process with Your Pet Easier
• If you are planning to move to Turkey, check out the articles in the constitution for owning a pet and traveling with them. The article numbered 5199 in the Turkish constitution determines the law of safeguarding animals. It is essential to know your rights as a pet owner in Turkey.
• It is best to get first-hand information from authorities. The conditions and rules can change between animal species and in certain circumstances. It would be best to start preparing 2 - 3 months before your travel date.
• In some cases, you may need to obtain a declaration on you have no intention of selling these pets and not looking for a trade opportunity over these pets. You can get this statement from the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons in your homeland.
It would be best to get this document in 3 three languages. One of them should be in your own country’s language. Also, one in English for universal reasons, and one in Turkish to submit to the authorities.
• If you are traveling by the roadway you may have to pass the borders of different countries. In this case, you may also need to meet the requirements for pet transportation for these countries too. The airway can be more advantageous at this point. If you really need to travel by road, it can be best to look up the transit countries’ pet import regulations.
• Definitely consult a specialist while traveling via airways. Each airline has its own pet-friendly policies on how to carry a pet with you. Some airlines do not allow specific breeds, cross mixes, or dog breeds like Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc. The conditions, requirements, and rules can change between airlines.
• If you plan to buy a connecting flight to Turkey with a transit point in England, United Arab Emirates, or Qatar, definitely talk to a supervisor of the airline before buying the ticket. These countries do not accept pets from abroad, so know your rights and limitations on these flights before buying them.
• Make sure that you’ve made a reservation on your airline. There is a limitation on the number of animals that can be present in a single flight. It would be best to make a reservation beforehand and get the correct information on how to manage the process firsthand.
• If you do not want to handle all these steps by yourself, there are companies that can follow on your behalf. These offer various pet relocation services from animal transportation to paperwork. With a little bit of market research, finding the best one would ease the procedures by a lot.
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