Quarantine lifted for Ukrainian pets

About 5% of refugees from Ukraine are arriving with their pets, according to the Swiss government. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The Swiss government has lifted the obligation for pets coming with Ukrainian refugees to quarantine on arrival, saying the risk of disease being introduced is low.

This content was published on March 25, 2022

“The risk of rabies being introduced by dogs and cats accompanying their owners is considered to be low, as many of these pets have been vaccinated against rabies or have had no contact with wild animals,” said the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary OfficeExternal link (FSVO) on Thursday.

“In view of the humanitarian crisis, the entry requirements for dogs and cats accompanying refugees from Ukraine are being temporarily relaxed.”

The FSVO says it remains important to register all animals on arrival and record whether they have been vaccinated against rabies. If not, they will be vaccinated.

Emotional support

The decision to lift quarantine had been taken after consultation with cantonal authorities, FSVO spokeswoman Doris Schneeberger told Swiss public broadcaster, SRF, on Friday.

She said dogs should nevertheless be kept on a leash for a certain period of time and cats should not be allowed outdoors.

About 5% of refugees from Ukraine bring their pets with them, according to the government.

The animals are a great emotional support for the people in their plight and give them strength to deal with the terrible events, according to a Zurich animal shelter where the first “refugee cat” was quarantined in early March.

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