Your Guide to Pet Passports and travelling abroad with your pet

21
May
2015

If you plan to travel abroad and take your pets with you, then you will need the most up to date information regarding Pet Passports. What follows is a summary of the most important points. If you have any further queries, please contact your local practice.

You must have your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies before it can travel to another EU country or back into the UK.

When you enter or return to the UK from another EU country your pet needs to meet the entry requirements. These include:

1. Microchip

Your pet must be microchipped before it’s vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination won’t count for travel if your pet is not microchipped first.

2. Rabies vaccine

This can be done in the same consultation as the microchip. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before they are vaccinated against rabies for the purpose of travel.

3. Pet passport by an authorised vet

You must wait 21 days after the vaccination (or the last of the primary course of vaccinations) before your pet can enter another EU or non-EU listed country.

This is because your pet isn’t protected against rabies until 21 days after its rabies vaccination. The day of vaccination counts as day 0 not day 1, e.g. if you have your pet vaccinated on the 1st of the month the earliest it can travel is the 22nd.

After the first vaccination and waiting period, you can enter the UK whenever you like as long as booster vaccinations are given on time and you continue to meet the other entry requirements.

4. Treatment against tapeworm

The treatment must have been given within 1 and 5 days (between 24 and 120 hours) before scheduled to enter the UK.

You must also use an approved transport company and an approved route unless you’re travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland (all other rules still apply).

You are responsible for any fees or charges for your pet if you don’t meet the entry requirements.

KEY POINTS

Rabies vaccinations are boosted every 3 years. Even if only one day overdue the animal must be vaccinated again and cannot travel for another 21 days.

Upon returning to the UK staff from the travel company will scan your pet’s microchip and check your documents.

Your pet will be put into quarantine or sent back to the country it travelled from if:

  • you don’t have the correct documents
  • your pet hasn’t been properly prepared for travel

You’re responsible for the costs of quarantine or the re-export of your pet.

Day trips

Your pet must be treated for tapeworms before you leave the UK. To return to the UK, the treatment must have been given within 24 and 120 hours by the time you re-enter the UK.

You should give another treatment within 28 days of returning to the UK.

EXPORT

If you are permanently moving abroad and taking your pet with you, then you will need to apply for an export health certificate from APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle , and an import certificate from the destination country. The entry requirements for each destination county vary widely, and can be particularly complicated (involving specific vaccinations and/or blood tests at particular times before export). It is best to start this process as soon as you know that you will be moving, so that the entry requirements can be met.

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