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The FASFC warns individuals who buy pets from Ukraine online - these animals must meet strict health conditions


The FASFC has noted that an increasing number of dogs and cats are arriving in Belgium from Ukraine. These animals are purchased online by individuals in Belgium. Since these are adoptions and the animals are changing owners, they must meet strict health requirements.

Unfortunately, some buyers do not seem to be aware of this health constraint and are convinced they are doing a good deed by protecting animals in danger in this war-torn country. Others mistakenly believe that the relaxing of the rules for pets travelling with Ukrainian refugees also applies to the online purchase of Ukrainian pets. However, these relaxed measures only apply to pets brought to Belgium by Ukrainian refugees.

As a reminder, when a person buys a pet in Ukraine (online or not), they must meet the same health conditions as when buying an animal from a country outside the European Union. This animal must therefore: 

  • be identified by a microchip;
  • be in possession of the necessary health documents;
  • have been vaccinated against rabies;
  • have had a blood test that confirms the presence of antibodies;
  • have undergone quarantine in Ukraine.

These rules cannot be overridden in any circumstances because Ukraine is not free of rabies, despite the large-scale vaccination of domestic and wild animals. Rabies is a serious disease that affects both animals and humans. Nearly 59,000 people still die from this disease each year.

The FASFC provides all the relevant information on its website.

Currently, the best way to protect these Ukrainian animals is to provide material or financial assistance to local protection associations and shelters. Dogs and cats in Ukrainian shelters and stray animals pose a high risk of rabies to both the individuals caring for them and other animals with which they may come into contact.