‘Guarantee your ferret’s wellbeing’ – or face fines of up to €3,740

A new law designed to protect household pets’ ‘well-being’ – but rather bizarrely citing ferrets alongside cats and dogs – comes into effect in October, establishing fines of up to €3,740 for any owners found wanting.

Published today in State newspaper Diário da República, the rules are “obligatory for dogs, cats and ferrets” stresses Público, explaining the latter “had to be included because of EU regulations that define the species as one that could be designated as a pet”.

According to the legislation, all the cited species now have to be officially registered, and implanted with microchips.

For the time being “other animals that figure on the list of pets, like reptiles, birds and rabbits can also be registered if owners want” but it’s not mandatory.

Up till now, only dogs needed microchips.

Explains Público, any owners who move house and fail to update the details of their pets’ registrations will also face fines.

The rules go on: once equipped with a chip, the pets’ ID documents (issued through SIAC, the ‘sistema de informação de animais de companhia’) “should be carried on all outings” (presumably by owners, not the pets themselves…)

Público stresses that chips “can only be placed by vets” who will also be liable for fines if the devices are not properly registered with the SIAC, or if they administer the mandatory rabies vaccines without ensuring animals are microchipped

The new law also has a hurdle for the owners of dangerous dogs who come to this country with their pets.

They have just ten days to register the dogs – and yes, failure to do so will result in a fine.

Owners of all other animals have 120 days from birth to get them registered. If dates of birth aren’t known, the deadline is that registration has to be completed “before the animal has lost its first incisors”.

According to Público, this assault course of requirements – which could result in quite a few bitten fingers – is designed to prevent people abandoning their animals.

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