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A new law has been edicted on January 6th 1999, related to “ dangerous and stray animals, and to animal protection ”. It gives us the opportunity to clarify the conditions when a dog or a cat has to be tattoed in France.

What was already valid before…

Tattoing is compulsory in rabbies-contaminated areas
It represents the North-East part of France, i.e the following departments:

Aisne (02), Ardennes (08), Aube (10), Doubs (25), Marne (51), Haute Marne (52), Meurthe et Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57), Nord (59), Bas Rhin (67), Haut Rhin (68), Haute Saône (70), Vosges (88), Territoire de Belfort (90).
(list updated on April 22nd 1998)

In June 98, a rabid dog was found and died in Gard (30). This dog probably came from another country, but Gard is now officially declared contaminated area.

Tattoing is compulsory for any transfer of property
When a cat or a dog is sold or even given up to a new owner, the animal has to be tattoed . The tattoing expenses have to be paid by the seller or the person who gives the animal.

If the animal was already tattoed, the identification card must be mailed to the SCC (Central Canine Society), or to the Feline database file, in order to notify the name and the adress of the new owner on the card.

Tattoing is compulsory in a dog or a cat gathering
- Exhibitions, sprint races or sled dog races…
- In any place where dogs and cats can be sold : animal houses, trade shows, market places…

Tattoing is compulsory in campings

Tattoing is compulsory to go to Corsica, overseas french departments or foreign countries.

What is new…
Tattoing is compulsory for all the dogs belonging to the 1st category (attack dogs) or 2nd category (guard and defence dogs)
These categories have nothing to do with the official canine classification. The precise list of involved dogs is not decided yet. This measure will be applied from June 1st, with all the other measures concerning these types of dogs.

Tattoing is compulsory for dogs over 4 months old, that are born after January 6th 1999.
It means that in France, from May 99, any dog over 4 months old will have to be identified.

If you loose a dog or a cat in an officially rabbies-contaminated area…
If the animal is impound, it can be given back to its owner within at least 8 days, provided the animal is tattoed and vaccinated against rabbies. If those 2 conditions are not fullfilled, or if the owner does not claim for his dog, the animal will be euthanasied.

If you loose a dog or a cat in a area free from rabbies … The animal can be given back to its owner within 8 days, provided it is tattoed. If it was not identified, the dog has to be tattoed before beeing given back, and the expenses have tobe paid by the owner. If the owner does not claim for his animal, it becomes immediatly adoptable.

So far, tattoing stays the only offical method of pets identification in France. Electronic microchips become more and more popular, but the conditions for using them have not be defined and homologated yet.

Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website

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