Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The scope of Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals and amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC (‘the regulation’) is limited to the species listed in Annex I thereto. Domestic rabbits are included in Part C of that Annex.
Article 9 of the regulation provides that the conditions applicable to the movement of animals of the species listed in Part C of Annex I from third countries shall be adopted by the Commission. In the absence of harmonised conditions, Member States apply national rules to the movement of those species.
The harmonised animal health rules for the non-commercial movement into Member States of pet dogs, cats and ferrets as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 do not distinguish between indoor and outdoor pets.
Under the national rules of the United Kingdom, dogs, cats and ferrets returning until 31 December 2011 from another Member State or from a third country listed in Part C of Annex II to the regulation must be accompanied by a passport documenting a valid and effective anti-rabies vaccination, while those returning from non-listed third countries, such as India, are required to be quarantined.
After 31 December 2011, dogs, cats and ferrets returning to any Member State from non-listed third countries, such as India, are to be accompanied by a passport documenting a valid and effective anti-rabies vaccination carried out in accordance with the regulation.
-  OJ L 146, 13.6.2003, p. 1.
OJ C 146 E, 24/05/2012