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Pets

How animals are treated in Luxembourg

Especially for new owners, pet taxes, regulations, and transportation rules can be confusing. This article provides all the details on how animals are treated and what is done for their safety.

Last time updated
04.04.24

Luxembourg, like the rest of Europe, strives to treat not only flora but also fauna with care and respect. Therefore, animals and their safety and comfort are taken into account here.

In May 2016, Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg's former Minister of Agriculture, introduced a new law aimed at "ensuring the dignity, protection of life, safety and welfare of animals. Since then, the legal framework has been further modernized.

Luxembourg also became the 15th EU Member State to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The legislation includes a positive list of animals allowed to be used in circuses, exclusively domesticated animals.

How animals are protected by law

The Animal Welfare Act adopted in Luxembourg is based on the legal recognition of the dignity of pets, which should be respected by those who care for them. For any violation of the law, even a minor one, veterinary inspectors can issue citations and impose fines, just as in the case of a traffic violation.

Are you moving to Luxembourg or traveling across Europe with your pets? Read the instructions carefully, as non-compliant pets will not be allowed to accompany their owners into the country.

Requirements for traveling with a pet in Europe

How to relocate to Luxembourg with a pet?

A positive list of pet animals

The EU recognizes the concept of a positive list, which is a list of animals that are allowed to be kept as human companions and pets.

Positive list in place

Some state members have both a legal provision for a positive list and an actual list of permitted species — Luxembourg, neighboring Belgium, as well as Cyprus, Malta and more recently Italy.

Work on positive list

Other countries have established a positive list in law but are still working on finalizing an effective list of permitted species, for example, Lithuania, France and Slovenia.
Screenshot from the proposal at europegroupforanimals.org
Screenshot from the proposal at europegroupforanimals.org

The list includes various animals, different in sizes and their wildness, but mostly accommodates the following types of species:

  • Domesticated mammals, from guinea pigs to horses,
  • Fishes and marine life,
  • Caged birds and poultry,
  • Arthropods and bees, non-venomous,
  • Molluscs, non-venomous,
  • Amphibians, non-venomous,
  • Non-venomous reptiles, with exceptions.

In Luxembourg, if someone wants to own or adopt an animal that is not on the list, he or she must obtain a special permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, ensuring compliance and good reasoning.

But the list of allowed species is not the only thing that can stop one from owning an animal in the Grand Duchy.

Normally, such a requirement is specified in the lease agreement. Do not forget to ask the landlord in advance if the matter can be discussed. What else do you need to know about rental agreements in Luxembourg?

Identification and registration

Both procedures — identification and registration — are mandatory for dogs. They must be microchipped, and this can be done by a professional veterinarian. For cats, registration is not mandatory, but they must be microchipped.

All the procedures are done within the first 4 months after birth or within 1 month after the animal is taken from a shelter or brought to the country.

Dogs

According to statistics from the canine service, there were approximately 82,550 dogs registered in 2022 in the country. You are obliged to register your dog in your local commune. 

For that, you will need several documents
Breeding certificate for a pet
It has to be issued by a professional veterinarian.
General Liability Insurance Certificate (COI)
This guarantees your civil liability as a dog owner in case of a mishap caused by your pet.

A special certificate for the pet can be made by any professional veterinary staff member. It is filled out in French after the animal has been examined and then brought to the municipality with the other documents for the animal.

Documents
PDF
Sample from vdl.lu
FR
Sample from vdl.lu
Download

If a dog has a new owner, he/she must report it to the city administration at the place of residence within a month. If you move, you will have to re-register the dog in your new commune, also within a month.

If one wants to adopt a dog whose breed is considered potentially dangerous, he/she should get prior approval. These breeds are considered dangerous:

  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers,
  • Mastiffs,
  • American Staffordshire Terriers,
  • Pit Bulls,
  • Boerboels.

If your dog belongs to a breed considered as potentially dangerous, you must provide proof that you have followed a training course, a veterinary certificate that the animal has been castrated, and a certificate that the dog has successfully completed behavior training.

The Ministry of Agriculture issues documents for keeping or bringing in dogs of such breeds only upon providing a certificate of completion of special training courses run by an approved organization.

Cats

Similar to dogs, cats must be microchipped. In addition, they must be spayed or neutered.

This operation is carried out no earlier than six months after the birth of the animal. If you plan to go on vacation and leave your pet in the cattery, be ready to provide its medical record and the documents proving that the above-mentioned procedures have been carried out.

Pet taxes in Luxembourg

The tax is believed to be levied to ensure that dog owners take responsibility for their pets, to cover administrative costs associated with pet ownership, and possibly to fund public services related to animals, such as animal shelters or animal control.

Dog owners are required to pay an annual tax. The minimum amount is 10 euros per year, but this can vary depending on the municipality where you live.

Guide dogs for blind and handicapped people, police dogs, army dogs, customs dogs and rescue dogs are exempt from taxation.

How much is the dog tax in Luxembourg? In fact, each commune can set its own taxes, and the 10 euro mark is crossed in almost every commune.

  • Sanem and Manternach: 12 euros per year
  • Bech, Bourscheid, Saeul, Troisvierges: 15 euros per year
  • Echternach: 60 euros per year
  • Luxembourg City: 40 euros per year
  • Variable taxes in Bech: 1st dog is 15 euros per year, 2nd dog is 30 euros, and more — 90 euros each.

In some, it is more expensive to be a dog owner, in some it is cheaper. In most communes, the tax is 50 euros per year.

Vaccination

Pets must also be vaccinated against rabies. Veterinarians vaccinate animals at least once every two years and issue a certificate describing the animal. Although it is not mandatory, it is recommended to vaccinate:

Dogs

Against plague, hepatitis, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis.

Cats

Against CVR, panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis.

Cats and dogs must have a European pet passport. If you adopt a pet from a charity or shelter, you will get this document with the list of vaccinations your pet has received. You will need a pet passport when visiting a veterinarian.

Photo by Edgar Daniel Hernández Cervantes for Pexels
Photo by Edgar Daniel Hernández Cervantes for Pexels

Care for the comfort of pets

This implies the ability to buy high-quality feed and accessories, have emergency veterinary care and move freely in transport.

Feed and accessories
Veterinarians and emergencies
Transport
Dog training, walking and games
Shelters and animal protection organisations
faq

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much is the pet tax in Luxembourg

Where to call animal emergency services in Luxembourg

Can you have crocodile as a pet

We took photos from these sources: Dogs on the wall, pets, puppies picture Screenshot from the proposal at europegroupforanimals.org, Photo by Edgar Daniel Hernández Cervantes for Pexels

Authors: Maria, Daria
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