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France facts: Snails need a ticket to travel on a train

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 4 Dec, 2019 Updated Wed 4 Dec 2019 08:00 CEST
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Travelling by train in France is usually a great experience (when there isn't a strike on) - but did you know that you need a ticket not just for yourself but also for all non-human companions?


Now you might think - why would anyone want to take a snail on a train? (Unless it was in a lunchbox as a tasty snack of course.) And that would be a fair question.

But French rail operator SNCF has strict rules for animals - you can take a pet with you on all French domestic services (although not the Eurostar) but it needs a ticket.

There is even a pricing structure, with pets weighing less than 6kg travelling on a flat fare of €7, while for larger pets it depends how far they are going. Animals weighing over 6kg also need to have a muzzle.

What has all this got to do with snails? Well in 2008 a TGV passenger was discovered carrying live snails in his luggage, and fined for travelling without a ticket for his animals (although after the case became a national news story the fine was waived).

SNCF also specifies that you must stay with your pet dog, cat or snail throughout the journey and if applicable the pet was be carrying identification.

Guide dogs are the exception to this and travel free, although there is no such exemption for emotional support animals, so however comforting your pet snail may be, he or she still needs a ticket.



The Local 2019/12/04 08:00

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