Thursday, 15 December 2016

Making Aliyah with your Pet

A few years ago, we put up a guest post on Dogs and the Law in Israel. I am happy to see that we receive some comments to this post. Several of them ask questions related to making Aliyah with a dog. Since I do not have a dog and did not make Aliyah with a dog, I have not been sure what to answer. So, I did a little research and have some information to share. Actually, in this post you will find information related to making Aliyah with a pet, not only a dog.

Israel does acknowledge that for pet lovers, one's pet is regarded as part of the family and not all families are willing to leave their beloved pet behind when making Aliyah. Hence some, but not all pets are permitted to come to Israel. One of the readers asked, "who decides what kinds of dogs might be dangerous?"

I did not know the answer to that so I looked into the matter a little. The answer is that the laws regarding which animals are permitted to be brought into Israel and which would be safe or dangerous is decided by:
  • The Ministry of Agriculture known in Israel at Misrad Hachaklaut
  • The Nature Reserves Authority known as Reshut HaTeva V'HaGanim
  • ElAl
Each of the 3 determines which animals can fly to Israel and some other important information.

There is actually a list of animals that are regarded as pets and permitted to bring and which are illegal. This list I found on the Nefesh b'Nefesh website. You can take a look to find other information about Aliyah, Aliyah with pets and more. 

Animals that are forbidden to bring include those without appropriate documentation and those under 4 months old.

If your pet is in good health and fits into one of the following categories, you can apply to bring your pet with you. Permitted pets include: cats, household birds, rabbits, rodents and most dogs.

To answer the question of the reader as to which dogs are regarded as dangerous and therefore forbidden to bring, here is the list:
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff)
  • Bull Terier
  • Fila Brazileiro, Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English Staff)
  •  Tosa Inu
  • Rottweiler
  • Argentinian Dogo
  • A cross with any of the above
The following animals are regarded as wildlife and therefore are not permitted: Reptiles, Amphibians, rare and exotic birds. Monkeys are illegal. The Nefesh b'Nefesh website states that monkeys do not generally live with humans. I find this interesting as I am aware of a study that was carried out in Israel to explore training monkeys as service animals e.g for those in a wheelchair. I am not sure what the outcome of the study was, but that is a side bit of information and does not alter the law.

If you are bringing your cat, I discovered that the process involves taking your cat to have certain shots including the rabies shot.  Having your cat evaluated to make sure s/he is in good health. A certificate / letter is required to verify this. One month after the rabies shot, you need to take the cat back to the vet to check the titer which shows if the rabies shot was effective (from what I understand.) The cat will require a chip for Israel.

If you are making Aliyah with a dog and have made sure that the type of dog you have is permitted to come to Israel then the procedure is to take your dog for the rabies vaccine. As for the cat, after a month the titer must be evaluated. You will require a health certificate which is valid for 10 days. This certificate must be faxed to the Ministry of Agriculture in advance of your coming to Israel.  If the certificate expires prior to your making Aliyah, you need to have it renewed. The dog will also require a chip for Israel which can be obtained in Israel.

An Olah from Holland shared that from Holland the process is: Do some paperwork with your vet, go to the Food and Warren Authority to get this signed. It is a process that costs but is easy to do. 

For any other questions, check with your vet and with your Shaliach or visit the website for the Ministry of Agriculture,

This Post was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

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