Staffie to France? Non!

Last summer, we had a very successful camping holiday in France accompanied by our Staffie Cross, which I wrote about here (Click to read)

We have now been informed that our lovely furry friend is considered to be a dangerous breed and will not be allowed into France.

Obviously we are very disappointed about this ruling, the more so, as we had already booked the Eurotunnel and cannot have a refund.

For any other Staffie or Staffie Cross owners considering venturing across the Channel, I shall copy the Email letter which I received today from the French Consulate in London:

“Dear Mrs Gowen,

I am afraid the legislation in France does not allow entry on french
territory to dogs of the 1st category (so-called “attack dogs” –
staffordshire bull terriers, american staffordshire, bull mastiff and
Japanese tosas) without a pedigree certificate from a national registrar such as the Kennel Club.

This legislation was enacted to curb the import of pit bulls, cross
breeds of molossoids frequently trained as fighting dogs. Personally, I
consider this is obviously unfair to staffies, usually friendly and “big
softies”, and to the people who own them, and frequently have them
rescued from the RSPCA refuges. The law, however, is very strictly
enforced due to a series of unfortunate accidents in the recent past.

The question, if you want to bring your staffie with you, is that of
identification. What is the breed mentioned in the Europeaan Pet
Passport ? If it is Staffie cross, this will obviously not be accepted.
Another formulation could possibly be acceptable (does your dog look
like a boxer or bull-dog cross ? those are not 1st category).

It is also a question of morphology. Does your dog have the typical look
of the staffie cross (typical “stop” between the muzzle nose and eyes,
proeminent jaw on the sides, thin whip-like tail ? If she does not look
like that, the dog could also be acceptable.

Finally, your dog will in no circumstance be put down just because it’s
a staffie cross – French people are animal lovers too, even if staffies
are not as frequent – and popular – there as in the UK. The only risk is
that you might have to curtail your holidays and bring the dog back to
the UK.

I am really sorry for the bad news, but I would like you to have an
exact view of the situation. Should you wish your companion to be with
you during the holidays, remember that 1st category dogs are usually
kept on a lead and muzzled in public places, and on public transport.

Yours very sincerely,

Jean-Pascal CODINE
Customs Counsellor
French Embassy, London”

Our lovely dog was rescued by the RSPCA from a bad place and there is no way we would ever consider putting her back into kennels. She is a gentle ‘softie’ and wonderful with our young grandchildren.

So we shall be enjoying the campsites of England and Wales this summer.

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68 thoughts on “Staffie to France? Non!

  1. Helen Brown

    Hey everyone.
    Wow, what we all do for our dogs hey!
    I noticed someone said something about Dogue de Bordeauxs. We have three and are planning to move to France in a year or two.
    I notice on the category listings of considered dangerous dogs they refer to Mastiff, not quite sure what Mastiff but the Dogues are French Mastiff so how are they welcomed in France.
    Can’t really hide them in the back of car, they’re huge! And if they don’t like the look of someone they’ll grumble and bark, would never attack but it won’t look good.
    Any French citizens who can help me on this one.

    Reply
  2. marie

    you can take a pure staff but not a cross. The law was corrected and now has an addition to say that staffordshire bull terriers are NOT included in any of the dangerous dog legislation.
    We took our staffy to france a couple of years ago and had no problems at all. I was a little concerned but took a copy of the law and all his papers & here were no issues. There are also many staffy breeders in france – find them on the web.

    Reply
  3. Alessandro

    Hi everyone
    I have been to France twice now with my Cola-Baby. Staffordshire Bull Terrier with no papers as a rescue. Further more she is of the “undesirable” liver colour with a dudley nose…makes her look more like a pit-bull. Now apart from a couple of curious other dog owners asking me if she was a pit-bull no one else cared hotelliers included. The way I it is that these people are simply ignorant. The staffs that are in france, and they have a staff association there are all pedigreed and therefore you would not find one of Cola’s colour as they are undesirable when it comes to dog shows etc.
    I have found the updated legislation on the french embassy website which clearly states that staffordshire bull terriers are not in any category and therefore no pedigree or else should be required.

    http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Importation-of-animals-into-France,2780

    Germany is probably even more strict on certain breeds but even there you can travel with your pet for up to 4 weeks. This is allowed in order not to create too much hardship during european travelling (germany’s a big landmass and one cannot always go round it!)

    Going back to the french embassy website. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is NOT classified as a dangerous dog and is therefore not subject to any restrictions, by that same token I dont see why stafforshire bull terrier crosses should be any different….unless crossed with pit-bull…etc but then who can tell. I am considering moving to france in a few years and will be looking into DNA breed testing. God forbid it comes back as her having any pit-bull DNa strands…then I’ll just tear the certificate up and carry my vet book, petlog and eu passport which all state that she is a staffordshire bull terrier.

    Hope it helps, there is a myriad of mis-information out there, but i think the one I found is the most reliable.
    Cheers, Alex

    Reply
  4. ian

    Hi ,just to say we have been going to france for the last 6 years wiyh our 2 staffy crosses and never had any problems,on their passport it has crossbreed, sadly we have lost them one a year ago at 13 and one this year at 14 ,i have seen many crosses over there and will rehome a rescue dog when i have got over the loss of my last dog,
    yet again a staffy or staffy cross as in my opinion they are the most loving loyal dogs who bring lots of fun into your life. Ian

    Reply
  5. Clive Southwell

    I think there is some confusion here. the dog which is classed as a dangerous dog is an “American Staffordshire Terrier” known to us as an “American Pit Bull”.
    A Staffordshire Pit Bull (Staffie) is not classed as a dangerous dog & if you look at the French Embassy website they make specific reference to this fact.
    It would seem that some wires got crossed.

    Reply
  6. jane smart

    We’re supposed to be taking out Staffie xlab into France and through into Germany in Septemer i have been reading alll the nightmare letters and just dont know what to do can anyone thats been there with a x staffie please advise me.The vet has maeked her passport as Lab x with no mention of the Staffie part would it be advisable to risk it?We are travelling in our motorhome and are also wondering about the campsites.

    Reply
  7. Jane Smart

    Please can i have some recent updates on this problem as thes letters seem to be dated from 5 years ago recent being 2010 has anything changed regarding taking staffie x to France and Germany?We are planning to go Sept 2012 and need to know.Has there been any reports of bad things happening to people with staffie x in these coun tries.We will be travelling to France and germany for 3 weeks i n our motorhome.We have a Lab x staff.She is black with a bit of white on chest but i think she has a lot of the labrador look.

    Reply
  8. Jane Smart

    I have now decided to put my lovely Rosie in kennels for 3 weeks i cant risk taking her i’m going to miss her greatly we’ve paid her ferry crossing and her rabies and pet passport so are going to loose a lot of money.Cant get any clear answers on this subject from anyone i’ve tried Defra they say they dont know the port also said the same and i cant get in touch with German or French Embassys cant find there E mail address anywhere so how are others contacting them?I wont take the risk but i wont have a good holiday either cus i will worry about her in the kennels.

    Reply
  9. Jane Smart

    Still undecided booked kennels but wether to put her in or take the risk and take her with us i don’t know Speaking to myself on here is this a real page?I would like to have some recent feed back.Has anyone took there Staffie cross to France or Germany and what was the reaction?Did they have any problems.Is the absolute worse that can happen that you are asked to leave the country?Cus if so i will risk it.Has anyone heard of anything worse happening ie Dog being taken away from owner or worse still destroyed?I need to know.I’m at my wits end with this can’t cancel the holiday because we’re going with friends so it wouldn’t be fair to them.Also could anyone give me an E mail address of someone in the French and German embassy’s that i can contact.Doubt if i’ll get an answer on here but its worth a try.

    Reply
  10. Lynn

    Hi I have just read all of these comments , I too am in the same dilemma I have a staffy with no papers but Staffordshire bull terrier on his passport , I note that these comments are from 2007 onwards , does anyone have any up to date comments please
    Lynn

    Reply
  11. d mate

    i regularly take my two staffs to france for a month at a time ,i have never had a problem. vets have been fine as have customs

    Reply
    1. Sara

      just curious, what breed is listed on their passports?
      I’ve travelled between the US and Spain with a Staff mutt and its the same. Airlines and customs claim -on websites- that travelling with Staff crosses is not allowed and there is never a problem. Generally receive complements on my well-behaved pup. So I was wondering if going through the eurotunnel would be the same (UK-bound)… Thanks !

      Reply
  12. Lesley

    This certainly a real site! It is mine! Sadly, Cassy went to the Rainbow Bridge in November. We never did try to take her abroad again… She was far too precious to risk a meeting with an unsympathetic French policeman!…. It might appear from some of the more recent comments here that things have lightened up a little.. Earlier comments certainly pointed to bigger problems. All I can say is that Staffies are the most lovable, loving and friendly dogs on earth and they really do NOT deserve their bad press!

    Reply
    1. ant

      : how did you get to france ; and how cum you were allowed ; i have a cross staff i just got here a passport ;

      Reply
  13. ian

    we take him on the ferry his passport says Staffordshire bull terrier,as you have read they arnt banned in france there are lots of them there,they are very expensive in france.

    Reply

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