Thinking of taking your pet on holiday abroad or for an extended stay in another country? With summer fast approaching, we thought it was the perfect time to provide an update on the rules governing taking your furball on your travels.

Pet passports have been replaced

If you haven’t taken your pet abroad in the past two years, you might not know that pet passports are no longer a thing. As of January 2021, travelling with your dog, cat or ferret to the EU or Northern Ireland has required an animal health certificate (AHC). Yes, that includes Northern Ireland, which is important to remember, rather than assuming that it’s simple because it’s within the UK.

Can you travel with pets in the EU?

The rules governing travel with pets to EU and non-EU countries are different. As far as EU travel is concerned, Great Britain is a Part 2 listed country, meaning that owners travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland with their dog, cat or ferret are no longer able to use a Great Britain EU Pet Passport. Instead, owners need to get an animal health certificate from your pet’s vet for each individual visit of your dog, cat or ferret into the EU or Northern Ireland.

How do I get an animal health certificate?

AHCs can be obtained from your pet’s vet for each trip to a European country, which includes Northern Ireland. This is one of the services we provide to registered clients at Aldgate Vets so contact us if you’d like to know more.

What are the restrictions with animal health certificates?

There are several things to remember when it comes to AHCs:

  • The AHC is only valid for one trip and a new one must be issued for each trip to the EU and Northern Ireland thereafter
  • The AHC must be used within 10 days of it being issued
  • An AHC essentially allows you to stay abroad for up to four months. Once you use it to enter Europe and Northern Ireland, the document is valid for four months, or when your pet’s rabies vaccine expires – whichever comes first
  • You can use an AHC for onward travel within the EU or Northern Ireland. For other countries, you will need to obtain the correct documents for that specific country
  • The AHC is only valid for the movement of non-commercial dogs, cats or ferrets
  • You can use the AHC for a maximum of five pets unless you’re travelling for competitions, training, shows or sporting events. Ask us for more information on travelling in these circumstances

How does my pet qualify for an animal health certificate?

To qualify for an AHC, pets must:

  • Be microchipped
  • Be vaccinated for rabies a minimum of 21 days prior to travel
  • Be a minimum of 12 weeks old.

Do I need to do anything when I’m coming home?

When coming back to Great Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland with your dog, they must have tapeworm treatment given by a vet 24 to 120 hours before returning and have the relevant documentation to prove it. This does not apply if you’re returning directly from Northern Ireland, Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

When coming home, the same rules relating to taking your dog, cat or ferret to EU countries and Northern Ireland apply when it comes to AHCs, microchipping and rabies vaccinations

Travelling with other animals in the EU and other countries

If you want to take pets that are not dogs, cats or ferrets to the EU and other countries, it’s necessary to check the rules for each individual country. This applies, for example, to birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents and rabbits.

Travelling with pets outside the EU

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, it’s essential to obtain an export health certificate (EHC). You’ll also need to complete an export application form (EXA) if you’re in England, Scotland or Wales. The export health certificate and the export application form for each country and pet will tell you how to apply. An EHC checks that your pet meets the health requirements of the country you’re travelling to.

As part of the process, you are required to nominate a vet who will be sent the EHC. They’ll check your pet has met the correct health and identification requirements before you travel. You should also check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

So that’s what you need to remember when travelling abroad with your pet. Simple! If you’d like more information on travelling with pets abroad, and for support applying for the required credentials, contact us to make an appointment.

Published On: April 28th, 2023 / Categories: Latest News /

Related Posts