September 6th 2021

Travelling with Pets

As many countries across the EU and world are placed on the UK Government’s ‘green list’, many pet owners are seeking to travel with their pets.

In today’s blog entry, we look at how to travel with your pet and what preparations you may need to take.

Travelling Within the EU and Northern Ireland

Since leaving the EU on 31 of January 2020, Great Britain is now a Part 2 listed country in regards to the EU and NI and pet travel meaning that owners travelling to these regions with their dog, cat or ferret are no-longer able to use a GB issued EU Pet Passport.

Instead, owners now need to obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from their vet for each individual trip they wish to take into the EU or NI.

The AHC which replaces the ‘pet passport’ in the EU is valid for one single trip only and a new AHC must be issued for all subsequent trips into the EU or NI. They:

  • Must be used within 10 days of being issued and once used to enter EU or NI
  • Are valid for four months OR when a pet’s rabies vaccine expires (whichever comes first)
  • Can be used for onward travel through EU or NI only and valid for return to the UK within four months of issue.

It is important to note that the AHC is only for the movement/travel of non-commercial dogs, cats or ferrets and for a maximum of five pets (unless for competitions/training/shows/sporting events – please contact your vet for these scenarios).

To qualify for the new AHC, pets must:

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

Your vet will need to have Official Veterinarian (OV) status from the Animal Plant Health Agency, so please check with your local vet before booking your appointment for an AHC. Please note, GB OV vets are not permitted to enter any details into a EU passport apart from tapeworm treatment.

When Travelling Outside the EU

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, you’ll need to get 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.

You must nominate an official vet who will be sent the EHC. They’ll check your pet has met the correct health and identification requirements before you travel.

It is worth noting that we recommend that you check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

For more information on either the AHC or EHC, visit https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad.

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