Travelling Abroad With Your Pet

Guide for Owners wishing to take their pets abroad

All up to date information relating to pet travel is on the government website:

All owners should refer to the .gov website for full up to date information. Below is a summary of the salient points especially with regard to changes post Brexit to EU travel.

Travel to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI).

  • Northern Ireland is now treated as part of the EU for pet travel purposes.
  • Before travel, Pets still require a microchip identification, a rabies vaccination, and a 21 day wait after the vaccination (unless the last vaccine was a booster before lapsing)
  • A UK issued pet passport is no longer valid for leaving Great Britain – instead, vets must supply an animal health certificate (AHC). It contains similar information to a pet passport but is single use for leaving, must be issued within 10 days of entering EU/NI, valid for 4 months for return to Great Britain (GB) or onward travel throughout EU
  • New pet passports can no longer be issued by GB vets. GB issued pet passports (pre Jan2021) can be used for re entering GB if they have an up to date rabies vaccination.
  • If owners have an EU issued pet passport with a valid rabies vaccination, it CAN be used to travel to the EU and NI, and to travel back again. If the rabies vaccination expires whilst in GB, an AHC will need to be issued instead. GB vets are unable to up date the rabies section of pet passports anymore.
  • Pets will need tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before leaving GB for travel to Finland, NI, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

Travel back to GB from EU

  • The AHC allows travel back to GB for 4 months. An up to date EU issued pet passport also allows travel back to GB.
  • Pets still need tapeworm treatment given by an EU vet 1-5 days before re entry into GB with the exception of travel from Finland, NI, Ireland, Malta or Norway. This is recorded on the AHC by the vet (or an EU issued pet passport).

Travel outside of the EU

  • This is largely unchanged. Owners need to apply to DEFRA for an Export Health Certificate (EHC). Every country has different requirements and all information is available through DEFRA.

Obtaining an Animal Health Certificate

Only DEFRA appointed official veterinarians (OV) can supply AHC’s. Unfortunately, the AHC is far more complex and time consuming than the pet passports. The paperwork adds up to 10 pages including an owner’s declaration and a certification of rabies vaccination and microchipping. Up to 5 pets can travel on one AHC. They are only for non-commercial movement of pets.

If you require an AHC, please contact the surgery with at least 2 weeks notice before travel. We need to see your pet to check the chip before filling out the AHC. We may ask to copy sections of your old pet passport and we will need you to sign an official owner’s declaration. The AHC will not be completed whilst you wait – it takes considerable time and needs to be carefully checked.