You want to bring your pets? Then have a look what there is to do in order to import, register and keep domestic animals in the city.
Bringing animals from non-EU countries into Germany requires official permission in many cases. In principle, European Community regulations apply to the importation of domestic animals (dogs, cats and ferrets). These regulations serve to prevent the introduction and spread of rabies. In order to avoid problems during the entry process, all pets from non-EU countries which are brought into the European Community must
- be clearly identified with a microchip
- be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the regulations,
- be accompanied by an official veterinary certificate stating the microchip number; vaccination documents and the possible results of a blood test should also be submitted.
In the case of pets entering Germany from a non-EU country in which there are instances of rabies or whose epidemic status is unknown (e.g. Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Thailand or India), a blood test (rabies antibody test) should be carried out in an EU-authorised laboratory prior to departure. After the blood test is complete, pets must wait for a period of three months before being allowed into Germany.
Problems will arise at the first EU border in the event that these requirements are not fulfilled. In these cases, pets may be sent back to the country of origin by the government veterinary surgeon, or kept in quarantine for several months. They may even be put to sleep under certain circumstances. The following legal guidelines apply specifically to dogs: so-called "dangerous dogs", e.g. pitbull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, bull terriers and all cross-breeds may not enter Germany.
- The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection offers valuable help on the subject:
Amt für Gesundheit, Veterinär- und Lebensmittelangelegenheiten der Stadt Münster (Münster Veterinary and Food Regulation Office), Nieberdingstraße 30 A, ph. 02 51 / 38 48 33 11
Dog licence fee
All dog owners are obliged to pay a dog licence fee. This is one of the oldest types of tax in Germany, which can be traced back to the 15th century. This tax aims to control the number of dogs in cities. Dog registration and de-registration forms can be obtained from the Citizens’ Affairs Office and the Finance and Investments Office.
Living with pets
All those living in rented accommodation are strongly advised to ask the landlord before purchasing a pet. This can save themselves considerable trouble, as not all landlords tolerate dogs or cats on their premises.
Dogs must be kept on leads in the city, in public parks and green spaces and in woods away from designated paths. In Münster, dogs may run free away from built-up areas. This also applies to the bank of the Dortmund-Ems canal, the western part of Lake Aa and the Wienburg Park.
- Information for dog holders:
Ordnungsamt (Municipal Public Order Office), Stadthaus 1, Klemensstraße 10, Tel. 02 51/4 92-32 01