A pet passport is a legal document detailing important information about your pet, including date of birth and microchip number. It also includes information about the owner and a description of the animal, to help authorities should the pet go missing. Pet passports include a record of any vaccinations your pet has had, as proof that your pet is fit to travel.
After Brexit, pet passports are no longer issued in Great Britain for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland.
As of 2021, following the UK’s exit from the European Union, pet passports that were issued in Great Britain can no longer be used for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. If your pet passport was issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, they can still be used for travel.
If your pet passport was issued in Great Britain you’ll need to get an animal healthcare certificate instead.
From 1 January 2021, new rules have been put in place around how you can travel to an EU country with your pet if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. For travel to an EU country (and Northern Ireland) from Great Britain, you’ll need to obtain an animal healthcare certificate.
An animal healthcare certificate will include things like the owner’s details, proof of your pet’s rabies vaccination and the country you’re travelling to. You’ll need to get an animal healthcare certificate for your pet’s travel no more than 10 days before you set off on holiday.
An animal healthcare certificate isn’t a one-time thing either – you’ll need to get a new one for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland, from Great Britain. You’ll need to get an animal healthcare certificate (AHC) from a licensed veterinarian and should cost you around £100.
For travel to the EU or Northern Ireland, your pet will need:
For travel outside the EU with your pet, you’ll need to get an export health certificate (EHC). This is an official document to confirm that your export (animal, in this case!) meets the health and safety requirements of the country you’re going to.
To get an export health certificate, you will need to apply online for a certificate and then get your vet to sign it. They’ll then check that your pet meets the health and identification requirements to be fit for travel outside of the EU. You’ll need an EHC for each type of animal or animal product you’re exporting from Great Britain.
Make sure to check the rules or local quarantines in the country you’re travelling to.
For your pet (dog, cat or ferret) to come on holiday with you you’ll need to prove that it’s been vaccinated against rabies. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they’re vaccinated against rabies.
Your pet will need a booster rabies vaccine every year, and if it has expired you won’t be able to travel with your them.
You can get a rabies vaccination for your dog, cat or ferret from your vet. If your pet isn’t microchipped before they get their rabies vaccination, they will need to have the vaccination again, once they’ve been microchipped.
It you are taking your pet out of the UK, check whether your pet insurance policy is valid overseas. Either check your documents or give your insurer a call to ask them whether overseas cover is included.
If your pet isn’t covered for travelling abroad, you might be able to extend the cover by paying an additional premium – or in the worst-case scenario, you might have to buy another policy.
It’s important that you evaluate the cover that your insurance provides you and your pet when abroad.
It’s also worth looking at what vet cover your policy affords you and what the maximum cover is – vets bills can vary from country to country, so be prepared to pay substantial amounts if you pet falls ill.
If you have an EU pet passport which was issued in a member state, it will still be valid to enter Great Britain from abroad.
Before your pet enters Great Britain, it must be:
You will need to get your dog to a vet for approved tapeworm treatment if the country you’re travelling from isn’t free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis.) Make sure you get your dog treated no less than 24 hours (and no more than 5 days) before arriving in Great Britain.
The tapeworm treatment must be approved for use in Great Britain and contain praziquantel, or an equivalent that’s an effective treatment against tapeworm.
When entering or returning to Great Britain from abroad, your pet must have one of the following:
If you’re travelling from Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you won’t need the above documentation to enter Great Britain with your pet.
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