Pets from Ukraine have not spread rabies in Europe – more than a thousand animals have come to Finland as a result of the war

Pets from Ukraine have not spread rabies in Europe

The Finnish Food Agency has paid part of the veterinary expenses of pets that fled the war. At the same time, information on rabies antibodies is collected.

During the spring and summer, at least 1,187 pets have come to Finland as a result of the war in Ukraine. The number is from the Food Agency, which collects information on imported pets from Customs, the reception point established at the Port of Helsinki, and veterinarians.

The situation is exceptional, as the entry rules for Ukrainian pets have been relaxed. In the spring, it was feared that this would lead to the spread of rabies or mole echinococci in Finland.

According to the monitoring carried out by the Food Agency, the fear has so far proven to be unfounded.

– Not a single case of rabies has been found in Finland. It is also gratifying to know that there have been no cases of rabies in the EU related to Ukrainian pets, says the head of the division of veterinary border inspection and internal market trade of the Food Agency Kitty Schulman.

The rabies situation in Ukraine is weaker than in Finland

Rabies occurs in Ukraine especially in rural areas and in wild animals such as foxes. However, the pets brought to Finland by Ukrainians are mostly from cities, and the pets have not had close contact with wild animals.

– The risk that they would have been in contact with wild animals and thereby become infected is really small, says Kitty Schulman, division manager of the Food Agency.

Pets arriving in Finland from Ukraine are first referred to a veterinarian. Pets get a chip and the necessary vaccinations free of charge. The dogs are given a mole echinococcal medicine if it has not been given yet. At the same time, a blood sample is taken for the determination of rabies antibodies.

Home isolation for 30 days is recommended for pets brought to Finland from Ukraine. During this time, the pets should not be in contact with other pets, but they are otherwise allowed to spend a normal life with their own family.

Information has been disseminated through Customs, veterinarians, the website of the Food Agency, social media and the Embassy of Ukraine.

– Many have followed the isolation well, and certainly not everyone has. We can’t control it, says Schulman.

You can discuss the topic until 23:00 on 17 August 2022.