Since Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to attack, over two million people have fled the country. Many already traumatised people were being faced with the impossible decision of leaving their beloved animals behind due to the protocol for non-commercial movement of companion animals into the EU.

Animals Left Behind at Borders

The current regulations for bringing companion animals into the EU and the UK are impossible for refugees to follow in a state of war. They require that animals such as dogs and cats be vaccinated and microchipped and have a titre test for rabies – and many animals don’t meet the criteria.

PETA UK is keeping updated about the process at Ukraine’s borders, and mercifully, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia have all made entry for animals less bureaucratic. Many other countries are doing the same to allow Ukrainian refugees to travel there with their animal companions.

We strongly urge people not to leave their animals behind. Just like humans fleeing from war, companion animals will be scared and stressed and are dependent on their human guardians for comfort and security. We have been deeply moved by accounts of people walking enormous distances with their animals in their arms and have detailed below what Ukrainians need to know when arriving at border crossings of neighbouring countries in order to get their whole families, including their animal companions, to safety.

We are doing our best to keep this page up to date with information as we receive it.

New Regulations in Bordering Countries

Hungary

Animals can reportedly enter Hungary without a microchip, tattoo, proof of rabies vaccination, or titre test as long as these transition papers from the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) have been completed.

Poland

According to the latest reports, refugees fleeing Ukraine are allowed to bring their companion animals with them across the border into Poland. Guardians must report them to the authorities once they have arrived at their destination.

Further information is available here.

Animal welfare organisations on the ground are working to rescue animals and take them to animal shelters along the Poland-Ukraine border for a chance at adoption, as well as looking after animals who have to stay in quarantine.

Romania

The chief veterinary authority in Bucharest (ANSVSA) has introduced an exception allowing animals coming from Ukraine to enter Romania with their human guardians, even if they are not vaccinated, microchipped, or tattooed and have no papers – as long as this form is completed.

PETA Germany’s contacts in the country have been in contact with the border stations to ensure that all borders have this information from the ANSVSA. People entering Romania with animals must visit the “Sanitary Veterinary Point” at the borders. If guardians do not have the required documents for the animals, they can fill out the authority’s form on the spot – then the animals can cross the border with their guardians. It seems that there is a maximum of five animals (dogs and cats) allowed per person. The situation remains opaque, however, as we are also receiving reports that – contrary to the official information from authorities – people are not being allowed to cross the border with their animal companions.

PETA Germany’s partner organisation in Romania, Eduxanima, is offering to vaccinate dogs and cats free of charge, carry out necessary blood tests, and provide the animals with sufficient food and veterinary care. Its facility is 600 km from the border in Argeș County. For more information, people are encouraged to contact Eduxanima at [email protected].

Slovakia

In Slovakia, the state veterinary office is also allowing animal companions accompanying Ukrainian refugees to enter, even if they do not meet the usual requirements. Guardians must fill out a form, which they can request from the staff of the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic at the border, and then, upon arrival at the EU member state of their destination, they must report the animals to the local veterinary office.

Photo © Ратынский Вячеслав / UNIAN

Non-Border Countries

Regulations in Other EU Countries

Following European Commission advice that member states cut red tape for Ukrainian citizens arriving in the EU with companion animals, the following countries have suspended the requirement for a permit under Regulation (EU) 576/2013 until further notice. Instead, those entering these countries with companion animals must contact the local veterinary authority to establish the health status of their animal companion and start any necessary processes (such as quarantine, antibody titre determination, rabies vaccination, microchipping, and obtaining a pet passport) from there.

Austria

Animals can enter without documents, identification, or vaccination. Any veterinary measures, such as rabies vaccination, will be handled after entry.

There are no forms or regulations online yet, but we will update this page once any necessary documentation is shared.

Belgium

Ukrainian refugees travelling with animal companions (non-commercial traffic) to Belgium, without the necessary paperwork outlined under Article 32 of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013, must contact the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) to request a permit at [email protected].

In view of the emergency situation, the FASFC will temporarily allow companion animals into the country without a permit. These animals must be placed in home isolation and reported to the FASFC at [email protected].

More information is available here.

Bulgaria

Information on the simplified procedure for entry from the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency is available here.

Croatia

Animal companions can enter without meeting the usual requirements or prior authorisation. You can find more information on the simplified procedure here.

Cyprus

Cyprus has relaxed its entry regulations, but guardians are advised to notify officials of their arrival by e-mailing [email protected] before entering the country with their animals if possible.

Animal companions will need to be quarantined upon arrival at the address provided to officials. Once the quarantine period has ended, officials will monitor animals’ health by regularly checking in over a six-month period. If a guardian moves or leaves Cyprus during this period, they should let officials know using the above e-mail address.

Guardians will not incur any fees for veterinary services in the course of this process.

More information is available here.

Czech Republic

Dogs, cats, and ferrets entering the Czech Republic with their guardians from Ukraine do not need a tattoo or microchip, a health certificate from a veterinarian, or the results of a blood serum test proving they are free from rabies at the point of entry. After entering the country, animals must be quarantined for 10 days, tested for rabies by a veterinarian within 72 hours, and microchipped (if they are not already). After five to 10 days in quarantine, they will be tested again and then vaccinated against rabies.

Veterináři bez hranic ČR, a charity based in the Czech Republic, is doing excellent work and offering to cover veterinary costs (including obligatory procedures and all other medication), animal food, and other basic essentials for animal companions. Find out more here.

Denmark

Animal companions can enter Denmark, even if they don’t meet the usual requirements. However, guardians are asked to contact the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration before or as soon as possible upon arrival in Denmark by filling in this form and sending it to [email protected].

The guardians will be contacted once the form has been received. They may be required to vaccinate the animals or to isolate them, if there is a risk of rabies.

See more information here.

Estonia

Estonia is accepting animal companions from Ukraine who do not meet the usual entry requirements, but refugees must inform the Agriculture and Food Authority (PTA) and Tax and Customs Board (EMTA) of their animal companion. They must fill in the notification form either in advance or at the border and send it to pta[email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

More information is available here.

Finland

Refugees travelling to Finland with animal companions are authorised to enter without prior application or a permit. Guardians are asked to present the animal and any paperwork they do have to Finnish Customs at the border upon entry, and customs staff will give further instructions from there.

See more information here.

France

France is welcoming refugees with animal companions even if they don’t meet the usual entry requirements. However, guardians must contact a veterinarian or the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of the Population (DDPP) as soon as possible upon arrival if their animal companion does not meet the usual requirements.

You can find more information here and contact details for local DDPP branches here.

Germany

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has published details of its temporarily relaxed entry requirements here.

Greece

Greece has also agreed to flexible measures for refugees arriving with their animal companions. Animals can enter the country without meeting the usual requirements, but guardians must notify officials before they enter the country or as soon as possible afterwards.

To notify officials, guardians should send an e-mail to [email protected], detailing the address at which they will be staying, if possible.

Ireland

Animal companions can enter Ireland through several airports and ports without meeting the usual requirements. Guardians are being asked to bring as much documentation about their animal companion as they can and to contact their destination airport or port before arrival using the contact details below:
• Cork Airport [email protected]
• Dublin Airport [email protected] (+353 (0) 87 417 8986)
• Dublin Port [email protected]
• Ringaskiddy Port, Cork [email protected]
• Rosslare Europort [email protected]
• Shannon Airport [email protected]

Further instructions will be issued upon arrival. More information is available here.

Italy

Like many other EU countries, animals are now able to enter Italy without the usually required documents. Once there, they will need to contact local authorities.

Italian animal protection charity LAV is helping refugees, who can call its helpline on +39 06 4461325.

Latvia

Latvia is accepting animal companions from Ukraine, even if the usual entry requirements are not met. Guardians may carry out the requirements once they have safely arrived in Latvia.

See more information here.

Lithuania

Typically, animals entering Lithuania must be properly microchipped and vaccinated, have a valid animal passport, and meet all the usual requirements. However, due to the escalating situation in Ukraine, Lithuania is reportedly allowing animal companions to enter with their human guardians. They will be microchipped, vaccinated, and quarantined upon entry.

You can read more about the entry requirements and conditions of quarantine here.

Malta

If an animal companion coming from Ukraine does not meet Malta’s usual requirements, they will still be permitted entry. However, animals may have to be quarantined and other procedures, such as vaccination against rabies, may be required.

Find more information here, and keep up to date with any changes to the restrictions here.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights at [email protected] or on +356 21650393 or +356 99170532 (24/7).

The Netherlands

Restrictions have also been eased in the Netherlands. The nation’s food and products safety association (NVWA) does ask that the animal be reported in advance, insofar as this is possible. The rules are flexible for people travelling by car. For those travelling by plane, the animal should be reported to customs upon arrival and will be examined by a veterinarian on the spot. The NVWA does emphasise that refugees must also take their animal to a vet as soon as possible after arrival for registration, microchipping, and vaccination. Animals should also be quarantined until a visit to the vet is possible.

Portugal

All Portuguese borders and entry points have been informed that Ukrainian refugees may enter the country with their animal companions.

Guardians are asked to notify officials of their animal companion by contacting the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary Medicine (DGAV) at [email protected] or the Official Veterinarians at either [email protected] or [email protected].

Officials are handling the situation on a case-by-case basis and will advise on any additional steps required.

For more information, see here.

Sweden

When refugees arrive at the Swedish border, they must report their animal companion to customs staff. If the animal doesn’t meet the usual entry requirements, customs will contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture. At this point, the animal’s guardian may be asked questions or to show documentation if it is available. The guardian may be required to take certain measures to help stop the spread of rabies, such as submitting the animal for blood samples to be taken or for quarantine. However, measures will vary, as each individual is being assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Any refugees already in Sweden who have not reported their animal companion to customs must contact a veterinarian immediately. Please note, guardians must call ahead before arriving at any veterinary facility.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture will assume the cost for any measures needed, such as microchipping.

For more information, see here.

Slovenia

Slovenia is provisionally authorising the entry of companion animals, under certain conditions set out in the application process refugees are required to complete to ensure that the entry of these animals into the EU does not pose a risk of rabies introduction or transmission.

A contact point has been established at the headquarters of the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection (AFSVSPP) for processing applications: [email protected].

More information is available here.

Regulations in Non-EU countries

India

Following an appeal from PETA India, restrictions have been relaxed and India is allowing animal companions to enter the country with stranded Indians being rescued from Ukraine. If the usual entry requirements – such as a rabies vaccination and veterinary health certificate – cannot be met, animals will be quarantined.

You can read more about the entry requirements and conditions of quarantine here.

Mexico

After Mexico announced that it would not ease border restrictions for animal companions, PETA Latino sent an urgent letter to the foreign secretary urging the country to change its policy. Shortly after, officials confirmed that restrictions have now been eased for animal companions.

You can read more about the requirements to apply for refuge in Mexico here.

Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine contact details.

Moldova

People with animal companions crossing the border from Ukraine into Moldova are being allowed entry without presenting veterinary certificates or animal passports. More information is available here.

Once over the border in Moldova, refugees can also access help including free dog food, free microchipping, free veterinary passports, and free veterinary care. For more information about support available after crossing the border, see here.

Norway

Refugees travelling with animal companions who are not vaccinated or microchipped can now enter Norway. They will not be charged for the necessary vaccination, microchipping, or quarantine. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority asks those who can to notify it before entering the country by e-mail at [email protected].

More information is available here.

Switzerland

Switzerland is now permitting people fleeing Ukraine with cats and dogs to enter the country without meeting all the usual requirements. They must complete an application form from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office of Switzerland (below) and send it to [email protected].

Due to the high risk of disease, entry with birds classed as “poultry” and hoofed animals remains prohibited. People with such animals must contact the veterinary authorities at their current location.

More information is available on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary office of Switzerland.

The United Kingdom

PETA has received confirmation from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs that entry requirements for companion animals from Ukraine have now been altered, and emergency licences are in place for refugees entering the country with companion animals. While applying for a licence in advance is preferable to avoid delays, refugees can arrive at the border and the Animal and Plant Health Agency will assist them with simplified paperwork and cover the costs of vaccination and quarantine.

Please note that animals may be held in quarantine for up to four months, depending on the vaccination status of each animal. However, PETA is calling for this to be shortened and for regular visits from the animals’ guardians to be allowed.

If you are travelling from Ukraine with your animal companion, call +44 3000 200 301 (and select option 2) or e-mail [email protected] to find out what to do.

More information is available here.

What Are PETA Entities Doing to Help?

PETA UK has sent a letter to George Eustice, secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs, urging him to ease entry restrictions so that Ukrainian refugees may enter the UK with their companion animals.

PETA Germany is coordinating a delivery of nearly 20 tonnes of companion animal food as well as blankets to shelters in Ukraine. It’s a complex undertaking with lots of obstacles to overcome, but they are determined.

We will update this page with news as we receive it.

What You Can Do

Donate:

Help support PETA Germany’s work on the border. Donate to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund:


We have received reports of people wanting to help going to Ukrainian border countries.

We strongly advise against it. More and more border stations are reportedly closing to private individuals. Only shipments of aid that have been verified by customs are being allowed into Ukraine. Major aid organisations are on duty at the borders and coordinating help for refugees – with and without animals – so the best thing individuals can do is to support these organisations.