Bulgaria - Article 9

 

Two aspects of this article have been examined;
 

 

  1. Rail travel
     
  2. Guide dogs

Rail

National Rail Travel
Regional Rail Travel
Urban Rail Travel
Transnational Rail Travel
Visiting Bulgaria

 

National Rail Travel

 

In Bulgaria, visually impaired people and their guide or guide dog are only entitled to two free trips a year on the national rail network.
 

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Regional Rail Travel

The regional concession scheme is the same as the national scheme : the visually impaired passenger and the guide or guide dog all travel free of charge
 

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Urban Rail Travel

No information

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Transnational Rail Travel

The Bulgarian Railways (BDZ) signed the IUR Agreement on Rail Transport for Blind People and their Guide issued in 1997 and amended in 2005. In theory, visually impaired people residing in and travelling to any of the countries who signed this Agreement are entitled to a free ticket for their guide or guide dog provided that the return ticket is purchased in the country where the disability card was issued. In practice the Agreement does not apply to additional fees such as ‘reservation' or ‘couchette' which must be paid in full for both passengers. Furthermore, a survey conducted by EBU in 2000 revealed that in many countries the Agreement was not well known or was simply ignored by transport operators and authorities.
 

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Visiting Bulgaria

In theory, it is impossible to benefit from Bulgarian schemes as a foreign visitor as locally-financed concessions are limited to local residents. In practice, concessions are sometimes granted depending on the willingness of ticket vendors.
 

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Guide Dogs

 

  1. How many guide dog users are there in your country? The number of guide dogs varies on a day to day basis as new dogs enter service and others are withdrawn. Please provide an estimate figure.

    In Bulgaria there are 36 graduated guide dogs that work with their users. Another 30 dogs are currently in the training program (in school and foster families) of the Bulgarian Guide Dog School at the “Eyes On Four Paws” Foundation.
     

  2. What regulations, if any, govern guide dogs access to:

     

    1. Public buildings (administration, hospitals, schools, etc.)

    2. Cultural and sports facilities (cinemas, theatres, museums, libraries, stadiums etc.)

    3. Leisure facilities (restaurants, hotels, holiday centres, beaches, etc.)

    4. Retail facilities (supermarkets, department stores, shops, etc.)

    5. Public transport

     

    1. trains
       

    2. underground
       

    3. buses
       

    4. taxis
       

    5. planes
       

    6. ships

    The Law of Integration of People with Disabilities – governs all matters related to the access of people using guide dogs as assistance in all public institutions and means of transportation.

  3. What are the regulations for the import and export of dogs into/from your country, including quarantine and vaccination procedures?

    The import/export of guide dogs to the territory of Bulgaria is permitted if the animal has all annual vaccinations in place including rabies. No additional quarantine conditions are stipulated.
     

    1. Are exceptions made for guide dogs?

      No

    2. Are the regulations such as to restrict spontaneous voyages?

       

    3. How much time is needed to fulfil the requirements?

       

      1.  For the first time

         

      2. For subsequent visits with the same dog

                        

  4. Is there a certification process for the training and provision of guide dogs? If yes, please provide basic details, in particular on the difference between mandatory and optional certifications.

    The Bulgarian Guide Dog School at “Eyes On Four Paws” Foundation strictly abides to the Guidelines for Certification and Training of Guide Dog provided by IGDF.

  5. Is there an allowance or other financial aid to help guide dog users with the upkeep of their animals (food, veterinary, etc.)?

    After graduation, the foundation does not provide any financial aid to the guide-dog users. All expenditures about food, maintenance and healthcare are at the cost of the guide-dog user.

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