Moving rabbits from Slovakia to Paraguay


If you think that you simply load them into a suitably large crate and take them on the plane board, you are seriously mistaken. Airlines do not consider rabbits as pets, but as livestock. Nevertheless, there are several airlines that allow rabbits to be taken on board on short and medium-haul flights:
1. Alaska
2. Spirit
3. Frontier
4. Air Europe
5. Finnair
6. Corsair
7. ITA Airways
8. La Compagnie
9. Air North
10. Pacific Coastal Airways

But – my own experience with Air Europe – this only applies if the flight is operated directly by Air Europe. If it is operated by another airline, as happened to me in the case of the flight from Prague to Madrid, where this flight is operated by Czech Airlines, then it is not possible. Czech Airlines doesn’t even want to hear about rabbits, but Air Europe support doesn’t tell you until you come across the fact that you can’t get a ticket for a rabbit.

Cargo transportation

Another “strong nerves test”. Rabbits can only go to Latin America as Cargo. But you can’t handle it yourself, you have to have a transport company that takes care of the formalities and loads the rabbits on the plane. After a long discussion with many companies, I found out that only one is willing to send them to Paraguay:
There are more of them to Brazil and also to Argentina, but to Argentina you need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture for rabbits, and you probably won’t be surprised that the ministry in question doesn’t particularly bother with issuing it.
There is at least one company that transports to Brazil, which also offers all the paperwork in the price of the service.

Transport conditions

Here you have to prepare for the fact that no one really knows anything and you will receive information in parts and ideally at the last moment.
The transport company will recommend a suitable crate based on the animal size, in the case of Star Cargo they can also provide it according to your needs and for a relatively reasonable amount (2 kennels of 60x40x20 cm for €220 both, kennel of 90x60x30 cm – €180, 70x50x50 cm – €160 + 21% VAT). But this is only valid for you from Spain, if you have to get them to Madrid by air first, then you will have to get the crate differently.

The transport company Cargo Partner chose this crate for me:
w 72 x l 52 x h 51 cm:
The crate must be IATA certified, without wheels, and – what was collected from the transport companies in parts so that you certainly wouldn’t get bored before the flight – as this is originally crate for dogs, it is necessary to add to the openings and doors metal mesh so that it can be used for rabbits. Star Cargo came up with this request from the beginning, so I bought mesh for rabbits, added it to the crate, sent a photo to see if it’s OK. I learned that the mesh must have a maximum mesh size of 13 mm. So I bought another mesh, and since I thought I had time, I left it for the weekend.

This was followed by entertainment with the Slovak Cargo Partner. According to their instructions, the rabbits had to be brought to Schwechat airport at least 6 hours before departure, ideally the day before. So I bought a ticket for Sunday because the flight from Madrid to Asuncion was on Monday, and I informed Cargo Partner that I would bring the rabbits to the airport on Sunday evening. Here I learned that rabbits are taken as goods and the transport companies only take them during working hours from Monday to Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. So I booked a ticket for Monday morning at 7:00 a.m., saying that I would deliver the rabbits at 6:00 a.m., which was 6 hours and 20 minutes before their departure. Here I was instructed to bring them at 8:00 in the morning, so I explained to the lady a little louder that my plane leaves at 7:00. OK, they will be waiting for me at 6.00.

Friday afternoon, 3 days before departure, the lady from Cargo Partners contacts me that there is also a request from them for mesh on the crate and that I need to send a photo of the crate with mesh and rabbits inside that day. The crate with mesh was at a friend’s in Raca and the rabbits were in Devinska Nova Ves (other end of the city). After completing the “sightseeing tour”, we successfully added the mesh and sent a photo with the rabbits. An hour later we received an answer that the mesh must be from the outside and the crate must also have a water bottle – which of course I had at the other end of the city. When we finally managed to send a satisfactory photo of the crate with rabbits, I could start looking forward to the trip itself.

The gentleman from the office in Schwechat arrived at 6:15 a.m., which is perfectly fine when my plane leaves at 7:00 a.m… I asked him which documents he needs, he took the health certificates and when I asked about rabbit passports, he was surprised that they have them but he doesn’t need them. So I left with the PET passport, got on the plane, turned off my mobile phone, which I turned on again after reported a half-hour delay. And what I see, the lady from Cargo Partner is frantically chasing me, asking where the rabbit passports are…. Fortunately, the flight personnel and the airport staff (obviously immigrants, by the way) were very nice and took the rabbit passports to check-in, where the transport company people picked them up.

Everything went smoothly in Madrid and we all landed safely in Asuncion.

The fun graduates on the Paraguayan side

My lawyer’s brother picked me up at the airport and we started looking for the rabbits. On the one hand, we attracted unwanted attention, on the other – they put the rabbits on the table in the sun, where they would soon collapse in the temperatures here, so at least we managed to get them to an air-conditioned room. Unfortunately, the information about the two rabbits at the customs office spread like wildfire and the “traditional” resolution method was no longer possible.

As part of the official procedure, I had to be registered as an importer and SENCSA required 6 tests to release the rabbits to quarantine at my home (because the customs office is, after all, the ideal quarantine place).

The university laboratory was able to perform only four of the tests, RHDV and Tularemia you have to get yourself, respectively it will save you a lot of time and nerves if you already come with all the required certificates.

After more than two weeks, I got the most famous rabbits in Paraguay into “home quarantine”.
How much it cost me to move them all together, I don’t dare to calculate.


To transport rabbits from Slovakia to Paraguay you need:
1. The size and weight of the animal, according to which the crate is selected and the transport price is determined.
2. A crate that meets IATA requirements, e.g.:
and with a mesh with a maximum mesh size of 13 mm attached on the outside (Picture 1).
3. Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus.
4. Passport with chip identifier and Myxomatosis and rabies vaccination (Picture 2). Rabbits are usually not vaccinated against rabies, but try explaining that to officials who only deal with dogs and cats.
5. Health certificate created by you, filled by your veterinarian and signed by a state veterinarian (Picture 3).
6. Tests for parasites:
Document 1
7. Tests for:
Viruses: Myxomatosis, Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV)
Bacteria: Pasteurelosis, Tularemia, Leptospirosis, Salmonelosis (Cobayo) (Picture 4)
Documents 2, 3 and 4
8. Since rabbits are considered goods, they can only be handed over to the transport company during working hours.
9. Paraguayan who handles import matters on the Paraguayan side: +595 982 584909
10. A lot of money


Picture 1: An example of covering crate openings with mesh provided by Star Cargo:


Picture 2: PET passport:


Picture 3: Health certificate:


Picture. 4: Part of the SENACSA ​​document regarding required tests:


Document 1: Test for parasites:

P2023_11318 parazity


Document 2: Test for Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV)

P2023_12038 P2023_12041


Document 3: Test for Tularemia



Document 4: Test for Myxomatosis