The new rule is applicable to all pets coming to the UAE from high-risk countries. Picture is for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Stock photo

DUBAI: Planning to bring your pet to the UAE? You must get your dog or cat vaccinated against rabies. Not just that, according to new rules issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), you must also wait three months from the date the blood sample was taken before your pet can travel.

High-risk countries

The rule will be applicable to all pets coming to the UAE from high-risk countries including the USA, France, India and Sri Lanka among many others. “In case of import from a high risk country, testing certificate from a laboratory approved by competent authorities in the exporting country should be done during a minimum period of three months and not more than a year prior to shipment date showing that the animals have been subject to antibody titration test for rabies,” the new MOCCAE regulation reads.

Dr. Sara Elliot of the British Veterinary Hospital said the move is aimed at eliminating the threat of rabies.

Minimum age requirement

MOCCAE has also set the minimum age for pets moving into the UAE. They have to be at least 15 weeks old with vaccination records from as early as 12 weeks.

Cats are susceptible to worms, fleas, mites, and ticks and must be treated two weeks before travel to get rid of these harmful parasites.

“Those looking to relocate to the UAE with their pets must bear these rules in mind,” said Dr. Elliot.

Pet owners not complying with these regulations can be be fined Dh6,000 and their pet will be quarantined for six months and deported.

For imports from the US and Canada, pet owners must obtain an import permit from MOCCAE. The permit will be valid for 30 days.

A pet owner can bring no more than one dog and one cat in the country annually and two each during his stay in the UAE.

Rising costs of importing pets to UAE:

Vet Inspection Dh1,003 per dog and Dh503 per cat for (Dh203 previously)

Export International Health Certificate – Dh403 (Dh103 previously)

CITES import permit now Dh510 (Dh210 previously)

Attestations or notarisations from the government – Dh403 
(was Dh203)