Just like humans, pets need a passport too. Pet Passports, also referred to as Malaysia Animal Identification Card, is a legal document issued by the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar.
A pet passport includes pertinent information about the pet itself, such as identification details, nationality, vaccination records, and health status.
So what is this passport for, is it necessary, and how do you go about applying for one for your beloved pet?
What’s a pet passport?
Back in 2010, the Malaysian government initiated the Malaysian Animal Traceability System (MATs) project to establish an animal identification database system and control the transmissions of animal diseases. In this pilot project, a total of 63 animals were successfully registered.
Today, the national Pet Passport Registration System has thousands of registrants, and the numbers are increasing by the day. Although all types of pets can register for a passport, the primary focus remains on dogs, cats, rabbits, and also horses.
What are the benefits of a pet passport?
Having a Malaysian pet passport essentially means that your pet is a legal citizen of Malaysia—and that comes with a lot of perks!
A pet passport contains detailed information about your pet’s identification, health status, and its owner. Therefore, you can think of a pet passport as an all-in-one book about your pet. So what’s in it for you as a pet owner?
There are many layers of benefits to a pet passport, but mainly, it improves your pet's traceability. This is because microchipping is a requirement for a pet passport registration. A microchip is a grain-sized permanent electronic identification device implanted under your pet's skin for identification purposes.
That being the case, if your pet goes missing, anyone who finds it can scan the microchip and know its identity within seconds. Moreover, you can also confirm or prove that you're the pet's owner with the information in the microchip.
Secondly, a pet passport makes information about your pet more accessible for several parties. For example, the immigration officer can easily refer to the pet passport for health and immunization records when bringing your pet for a vacation.
In fact, a pet passport is a requirement for pets to enter some overseas countries such as Switzerland, Norway, and Vatican City.
Finally, pet passports promote awareness in animal welfare and also improve the responsibility of pet owners. The process of pet passport application comes with a list of pre-requisite requirements such as up-to-date vaccinations, rigorous health check-ups, and microchipping.
Often, these procedures are neglected or put off, leaving the pet at risk of complications. Thus, applying for a pet passport is an excellent way to encourage pet owners to take pre-emptive measures to secure the health and well-being of their pets.
Requirements for a pet passport
The first step to getting a pet passport is to make sure your pet meets all the entry requirement criteria.
- Microchipping: RM 20-30
- Deworming: RM 5
- Rabies vaccination: RM 100-250
- Parasite treatment: depends on the size of pet
It’s worth noting that your pet may require additional vaccines depending on its type, species, and current regulations. Therefore, the best decision is to contact Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar directly for accurate information.
Getting your pet’s microchip, vaccinations and other relevant treatments shouldn’t take long. Simply book an appointment with a veterinarian you trust and you’re good to go!
Costs of registering for a pet passport
A pet passport registration can be done at any department of veterinary services office or veterinarian facilities appointed by the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar.
A useful website for locating the nearest pet passport registrar is the official portal for the animal passport. Here, you can filter the registrars by state and find information such as registrar name, address, and also current phone number.
The breakdown of various pet passport registration prices are:
- Dogs: RM 7
- Cats: RM 7
- Rabbits: RM 7
- Horses: RM 9
During this registration, your pets’ medical history, official passport photo, and identification information will be recorded in one document. Alternatively, you can register for a pet passport online through the official pet passport platform. Then, you login in with your registration credentials into the Animal Passport System.
Allow up to a week for the department of veterinary services to process all the information and issue your pet an adorable blue passport with its photo (and of course, other details) in it.
How can I take my pet on a plane in Malaysia?
The first step to boarding your pet on a plane is to check with the government of your destination country on the rules and regulations associated with legally bringing in a pet. Next, take some time to prepare required documents such as a pet passport, health certificates, permits, or declaration forms.
At the airport, the conditions to take a pet on the plane vary from airline to airline. For instance, Malaysian Airlines require owners to make reservations and prepare a storage container for their pets beforehand. This may not be the case for other airlines as there aren’t any hard and fast rules around this matter.
Hence, you're strongly advised to call your airline service and inquire about the process of taking your pet on the plane.
When does the passport expire?
Here's some good news—pet passports don't expire! But there's a catch. You must make sure all vaccinations are always up-to-date to keep the passport valid.
For example, certain vaccines such as the rabies vaccination require booster shots or re-administration to ensure optimal protection. Therefore, we encourage you to consult a veterinarian regularly and discuss the need for further vaccinations or additional treatments.
Do I need a pet passport to get pet insurance?
No, pet passports are not required for insurance applications at Oyen Pet Insurance.
Nevertheless, if you purchase our Dog Plus or Dog Champion insurance plan, we'll provide a free microchip service for your pet. This could be helpful for you in the process of applying for a pet passport, as microchipping is a requirement for the application.
Though the process of applying for a pet passport may seem over the top, keep in mind that it's all in the best interest of your pet. Plus, a blue Malaysian pet passport represents the nationality of your pet and enables it to experience the benefits of being a true Malaysian!
So, what are you waiting for? Get your pet ready for a photoshoot and head over to the nearest registrar to kickstart the registration process.