Animals and plants

Beware when buying dogs abroad

FSVO press release: Anyone who brings animals across the border illegally is acting irresponsibly (German, French, Italian)

Animals imported illegally pose a threat to the health of local animals. Without the new owners being aware of it, animals brought across the border can introduce contagious diseases such as rabies.

FSVO press release: Watch out when buying a dog (German, French, Italian)

Only some of the approximately 25,000 dogs imported into Switzerland each year come from reputable breeders or responsible animal welfare organisations. The FSVO has prepared a video to inform people about these issues and to show them what to look out for when buying a dog.

FSVO website: Link to the video (German, French, Italian)

FSVO website: Brochure "Watch out when buying a dog" (German, French, Italian)

Import of souvenirs from protected animals and plants

Elephant leather belts, dream catchers with bird-feathers or sandalwood joss sticks - there are all sorts of souvenirs. People do not realize that many objects are made using protected animals or plants (e.g. tropical timber). But many things may not be brought into Switzerland at all, or only with permits.

Even before going away, it is worth clarifying which souvenirs are suitable and which are best left behind at the holiday resort.

Details can be found here:
Souvenirs - FSVO

Travelling with pets
Some preparatory work is necessary if you wish to bring your pets abroad from Switzerland, or vice versa.  

 Many travellers want to bring food of animal or plant origin (meat, milk and dairy products, cheese, honey, fruit, vegetables, etc.) into Switzerland.
However, this is often prohibited or at least restricted in order to prevent the introduction or spread of epidemics. This applies particularly in the case of food from non-EU countries such as Turkey.

Additional information on animals and plants is available at the following links:


Information office for customs regulations

+41 58 467 15 15

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You will find questions and answers about the coronavirus at (in German, French or Italian).