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Old 15.01.2012, 23:24
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Importing snakes/dogs to Switzerland

Hi Everyone

Myself and my family are moving to Switzerland in May, including our two snakes, a Snow Corn and a Royal Python and we cannot find any information about the requirements of importing reptiles, can anyone advise? We have decided to drive rather than fly as we are also bringing our Akita with us. We have also read on some forums that dogs are not very well liked in Switzerland, have any other dog owners experienced this?

Any assistance would be very much appreciated!

Thank you

Nick
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Old 15.01.2012, 23:31
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Re: Importing snakes/dogs to Switzerland

Well this isn't exactly an introduction to your snake or dog as you didn't give their names so I'll put this over in the pet section where our resident expert will be along to tell you all you need to know sometime soon. Unfortunately you have just missed her 'clinic' this evening.

While you are waiting for a reply, I suggest you do a little search on here for snakes and importing dogs and see how much info you can put together before she arrives. Don't read too many of the 'I hate dogs' threads though.

Good luck with the travel and document arrangements.
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Old 16.01.2012, 12:09
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Re: Importing snakes/dogs to Switzerland

I'm afraid I don't know anything about importing reptiles, so I'll refer you to the BVet website - clicking on the reptiles link takes you to the 'other non-mammal species from the EU' page, here:
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/ein_ausfuhr...x.html?lang=en

I believe a few EFers have imported snakes; hopefully these folks will chime in soon.

When in doubt, contact the BVet directly; my experience is that they are friendly and helpful:
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/kontakt/index.html?lang=en

----

Importing dogs is relatively easy. The BVet has a handy guide, based on where you are coming from and where you are going and the age of the animal:
http://bvet.bytix.com/plus/dbr/default.aspx?lang=en

Further explanations here:
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/themen/0161...x.html?lang=en

Please note that there is a federal ban on dogs with docked tails or cropped ears; the only exceptions are animals who have been long term family pets or those whose amputation was a medical necessity. In both cases contact the BVet for the appropriate procedure and documentation.

Also note that while there is no federal BSL, about half the cantons have implemented either an outright ban or placed restrictions on importing or owning specific breeds. BSL and other animal control issues are regulated by the cantons. So - what breeds/mixes are your dogs, and where will you live?

---
ETA: Just noticed that you have an Akita; no worries about BSL in any of the cantons then. But be aware that 'Large dogs', referred to as List 1 in canton ZH are required to do additional training classes; please check the requirements in other cantons.
---

FYI, you can read summaries of the various cantonal laws here, click on the canton
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php

---

A few things you might not be aware of:

First, all owners of dogs acquired after 1 Sept 2008 must take a training course, the Sachkundenachweis (SKN), with each dog - this is a basic training course, just touches the surface really. First time owners must also take a theory course prior to acquiring the dog. Now you clearly are not a first time owner, but I would nonetheless strongly recommend that you take both the theory as well as the practical SKN, as what Swiss society expects of dog owners is rather different than what you might be used to in your country. The SKN will help you avoid missteps here.

And of course I'd recommend getting involved with further training activities.

All dogs must be chipped, and the chip must be registered with both the Gemeinde and with ANIS, the national database. Only a vet can do the ANIS registration, and you are supposed to do it within 10 days of arrival - so you'll need to see a vet soon-ish. Most vets charge for this if this is the only service you requrest, but many will simply include it when you do the registration as part of a consultation.

Also be aware that there is an annual dog tax in most Gemeinden. Some cantons charge a flat rate per dog, some use a progressive rate that escalates based on the number of dogs you have in the household. Ballpark, you should figure at least CHF 150 per dog per year.

---

As to the question of 'dog friendliness'...

There are many threads on this issue; it seems posters have had the full spectrum of experiences, from people whose dogs have been poisoned, people who have been driven out of their houses or forced to get rid of their dogs - to people for whom this is absolute canine heaven. Your experience will hopefully lean towards the latter.

Rather than recount all that here, I'll point you to couple of choice threads - the good and the bad - and let you draw your own conclusions:

"Secret" Dog Parks....??
Much loved Rottweiler, Sad Story
Police came last night
pets in switzerland
'Dog Trails' For Conflict-free Hiking
Dog etiquette
Dog walking areas in Zug

The rabid (pun intended) anti-dog campaigners aside, the hot button issue with most people is noise. We live in tiny spaces without much privacy here, we have to consider how our actions affect our neighbors to a far greater degree than one must in other countries. There is a whole body of law called Nachbarrecht - neighbor's rights. Moreover, this is a society where quiet is expected - noise laws are quite strict. Everyday noises that those of us from louder cultures probably wouldn't even notice are often considered a gross transgression here. You'll need to learn to walk softly, talk softly - and your dog must bark softly. Better yet, your dog shouldn't bark at all. (Swiss dogs generally don't.) If you and your dogs are respectful and quiet, you should get along fine. If your dogs are noisy, expect trouble. (Hint: Get thee to a Hundeschule!)

Finding housing will be your biggest hurdle. As you probably know, there is an extreme housing shortage - supply falls far short of demand. Landlords can afford to be choosy - and a dog owner is seen as less desirable than other tenants. So be prepared; you should have liability insurance for any damage the dogs might do, you should be prepared to demonstrate that the dogs are well behaved and well socialized - bring references if you have them, you need to show that the dogs won't be left alone for more than short periods - and you may well need to pay well over the odds to find a landlord willing to consider you. Be flexible on your location, be prepared to accept a house/flat that has defects or others might not want, be prepared to accept a less desirable neighborhood, longer commute - in short, make 'dogs allowed' your first housing priority, be willing to compromise on the rest.

Bottom line - Make no assumptions based on how things worked back home - learn what Switzerland expects of dog owners. Be aware that intolerance is on the rise - and understand that the best thing you can do to combat that is to be a responsible dog owner. Keep your dogs under control at all times, be respectful of others at all times. Do that, and you and your dogs can enjoy the glorious mountain hikes and then relax at a Gasthaus where the pooches are welcome to sit by your feet and the owner even brings out a water bowl for them.

Hope all goes well with your move, that you and your critters find appropriate housing, and that you all enjoy your Swiss adventure.

Last edited by meloncollie; 16.01.2012 at 12:42.
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Old 16.01.2012, 12:28
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Re: Importing snakes/dogs to Switzerland

Make sure you check with your own country about the export rules for each pet. You also need to determine if your snake is covered under the CITES treaty or not. In that case you'll also need a CITES permit.
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