Interspecies Relationships
Interspecies Relationships

The Brexit transition period ended on the 1st January which means changes to the Pet Travel Scheme. Read on if you are planning on travelling to the European Union or Northern Ireland with your dog, cat or ferret in 2021 or beyond.

What used to happen?

  • Compulsory microchip.
  • Rabies vaccination after 12 weeks of age.
  • Have an EU Pet Passport issued by an Official Veterinarian.
  • Not enter the UK until over 21 days after the rabies vaccination.
  • Tapeworm treatment administered by a vet 1-5 days before return to the UK.

What are the rules now?

  • The EU Pet Passport is no longer valid for travel into the EU or NI.
  • Compulsory microchip.
  • Rabies vaccination after 12 weeks of age.
  • Wait 21 days after rabies vaccination before travelling.
  • Obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from an Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before travelling.
  • The rules to get back into the UK have not changed – you will need a valid AHC or Pet Passport and have a vet administer a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before entering the UK.

How do I get an AHC?

  • An AHC needs to be signed by an Official Veterinarian (OV) that has undergone specific training. Check that your vet is able to do this.
  • As long as your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date you will not need to get them re-vaccinated in order to get an AHC.
  • Show the OV proof of rabies vaccination. This will be on your pet’s computerised record if it is your own vet issuing the AHC, otherwise you may have to present your pet’s old passport.

How long is the AHC valid for?

  • Valid for entry into the EU or NI for 10 days.
  • Valid for onward travel within the EU or NI for 4 months.
  • Valid for re-entry into the UK for 4 months.
  • You will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU or NI.

Arriving in the EU or NI

  • You must use a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE) where you will need to present the AHC and they will check your pet’s microchip.
  • Some countries have their own specific rules such as tapeworm treatment before entry. This is YOUR responsibility to check.

Remember it is always your responsibility to check the specific requirements in plenty of time before your planned date of travel.

For more information:

To check Travellers’ Point of Entries and approved routes:

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