On our last (December 2012) transport to Germany we had a bit of a situation with the German authorities, which I wanted to share with you.
To clarify we weren’t stopped by the police!
We had just finished dropping off the cats and dogs at our location and were waiting for one dog to be collected and to load up the donations. The police arrived having been alerted by a security guard on the industrial estate that we were using. His concern was that we were selling the animals, which it appears is a large problem in Germany, from Eastern Europe.
Of course it would have saved us all a lot of time and frustration if he had asked us directly, but his concern was for the animals welfare and he can not be blamed for that.
The first ‘problem’ was that while I had all our DEFRA paperwork and the Pet Passports I had forgotten the documents for the van!
Second issue: the police hadn’t got a clue what to do so eventually called in the Police Dog Handler who seemed to have even less of an idea. Both checked the passports, the van cages etc but the Dog Handler decided to get Animal Welfare involved.
While we were waiting for them to arrive the original police lady received a call from her boss, the Chief of Police. Apparently he had adopted a dog recently that we had transported so he vouched for us and we were free to go.
But …… we had to wait for representatives from the German Charity to return as they had gone for coffee and we had some paperwork to return to them that the police had been holding.
Before they could return, and us leave, the police returned having been instructed by the Animal Welfare Vet that they couldn’t attend so wanted the police to make some checks.
1. TRACES: they wanted evidence of our TRACES documentation. We provided copies of our DEFRA certification and license which they were happy with.
2. Photos: they took photos of the dogs and cats in their cages to check (I assume) that they had enough space and were secured properly.
3. Head count: they wanted to know how many animals we had on board. At the time we had 20 dogs and 7 cats on board still.
4. Pet Passports: they checked a number of the passports, specifically for the clinical examination as being fit to travel, along with all the vaccinations etc.
An area that they were particularly keen to look out for was any reference to money. One document in a passport was the release document for a dog with an amount of 84€ having been paid. They got very excited over this in case it was evidence of having sold the dog but fortunately the papers were in the name of a co-driver as they had had the rescue dog released to them so all was well.
Lesson learnt though. NO paperwork should have any reference to money on at all.
The whole thing took nearly three hours on a very cold and very snowy Sunday afternoon but as they say every cloud has a silver lining:
a) people had said that dogs and cats couldn’t be transported in Germany at the same time.
b) people had said limit of 5 dogs/cats per person would be enforced.
c) people had said that TRACES would be required and DEFRA certification wouldn’t be enough.
So having been through the mill the good news is that we are set up correctly and passed the inspection.
Yet another reason to use ALStrays Transport for the transportation of your cats and dogs to Germany.