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 The number of guide dogs varies on a day to day basis as new dogs enter service and others are withdrawn.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.

    There are around 120 guide dog users in Poland.

  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

    The Act on Vocational and Social Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities of 27 August 1997 (with amendments) is the basic act regulating access to guide dogs in Poland.
    In 2008 regulation was introduced stating that a disabled person with an assisting guide (also with a guide dog)  is authorized to enter public facilities and in particular buildings and its precincts designed for the needs of public administration, justice culture, education, higher education, research, health, welfare and social services, bank services, trade, catering establishments, services, tourism, sport, service of passengers of rail, road, air, maritime, inland, postal and telecommunication services and other widely accessible buildings designed for similar functions, including office and social buildings.      

    Furthermore in the Act on Food and Nutrition Safety a regulation was introduced stating that operators on food market, running factory of food circulation or catering  
    are obliged to include in procedures for good hygiene practice and the implementation and application of the HACCP system the right to enter and use of these facilities by people with disabilities with assisting dog as defined in the Act on  
    Vocational and Social Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities

    The Act on entitlements to concessionary transfer by public transport the same reduction as for the blind person guide is foreseen for guide dogs (the fee is 95% of the ticket price).

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

    Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 (with later amendments) on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals  is applied in Poland
    The Polish General Veterinary Inspectorate determined on the basis of above-mentioned document requirements applicable as guidelines for customs service.
    Dogs must bear:
    -  clearly readable tattoo or
    - an electronic identification system
    Dogs also must be accompanied by a passport issued by a veterinarian authorized by the competent authority certifying valid anti-rabies vaccination, or revaccination if applicable, in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturing laboratory, carried out on the animal in question with an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose.

    Relating to movements from third-world countries to the EU territory (except Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK) health certificates compiled according to the formula defined in Commission Decision 2004/824/EC of 1 December 2004 applies and documentation including details identifying a pet and those regarding anti-rabies vaccination.

    In the case of Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK dogs must be also identified (tattoo or electronic system) and passport must include, apart from information on vaccination according to requirements, information on a neutralizing antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml carried out on a sample taken by an authorized veterinarian at least 30 days after vaccination and three months being moved. Antibody titrations need not to be renewed on a pet animal which has been revaccinated at the intervals according to instructions of vaccination producer. This three-month period shall not apply to the re-entry of a pet animal whose passport certifies that the titration was carried out,
    dogs must be identified (tattoo or electronic system).

    1. Are exceptions made for guide dogs?


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

      Explained above

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

      Explained above

  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.

    In Poland a detailed procedure for certification of guide dogs is defined by the Regulation of Minister of Labour and Social Policy dated 1 April 2010. Units training guide dogs and wishing to obtain permission to issue certificates for guide dogs (such consent is issued by the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People) submit an application including training program, conditions for implementation of training and certification specimen among others. The Government Plenipotentiary keep a register of units authorized to issue certificates. Currently there are a few units training guide dogs. Each of these units has its own internal procedures connected with providing the blind with guide dogs.
  5. Is there an allowance or other financial aid to help guide dog users with the upkeep of their animals (food, veterinary, etc.)?


    Currently, the blind people having guide dogs have to try individually to get financial support from the county family assistance centers. This is not obligatory assistance so it is not always granted.