Pet passports

All you need to know about pet passports

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Brits need a pet passport for their dog, cat or ferret if they are bringing it into the UK from a European Union country (or another country from which the UK accepts pet passports) for the first time.

Man walking his large dog on a lead

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The same applies if you travel with your pet from the UK to another country, and then return to the UK. Note that, even with a passport, you cannot return once your pet’s rabies vaccination has expired.

These rules have not been affected by the referendum vote for the UK to leave the EU.

An animal coming into the UK that does not have a pet passport must have an official veterinary certificate from the country concerned.

The upshot of these requirements, administered under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), is that most animals will not be required to spend time in quarantine, either in the UK or abroad.

What is a pet passport?

A pet passport includes a record of any and all of the treatments your pet has had.

They are available from certain vets – if your vet doesn’t issue them, it will give you the details of one that does.

When you apply for a pet passport, you will need to take your pet, along with vaccination and other medical records, to the issuing vet.

What information does it carry?

Your pet passport should include details of:

-          Details of ownership

-          Description of pet

-          Vaccination against rabies

-          Rabies blood test (as required)

-          Canine tapeworm treatment (as required).

Full details are available on the government website.

What is a veterinary certificate?

If you do not have a pet passport, you must have a veterinary certificate from the country your pet is travelling from. Your pet must arrive in an EU country within 10 days of the certificate being issued.

On arrival, your certificate should be signed and stamped by the authorities.

It is then valid for a further four months for travel within the EU.

What about pet insurance?

It you are taking your pet out of the UK, check whether your pet insurance is valid overseas. If not, you might be able to extend the cover by paying an additional premium – or you might have to buy another policy.

Once insured, you would have cover for vet’s expenses while you are abroad.

Your insurer will want to know where you are travelling to, and may charge more if you take your pet outside of the EU.

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