Pet Travel

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Taking Your Pet Abroad

The rules around travelling abroad with your dog, cat or ferret have now changed and pet passports issued in the UK are no longer valid. New documentation is required for each trip your pet makes and be warned, it is costly. It can be confusing too, as non-EU countries have their own individual requirements, for example, some ask for your pet to be vaccinated against rabies, while others don’t. We’ve made the decision not to prepare pet travel documentation at this stage as the rules are changing rapidly, but this page will give you guidance and pinpoint where you can get up to date advice from to travel with your pet.

The website provides general guidance on the two main documents that have replaced the Pet Passport for travel to the EU, ie the Animal Health Certificate (AHC) and the Export Health Certificate (EHC). The UK’s Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) can advise you on non-EU country requirements and will help you through the application process if applicable.

If you have a Pet Passport that was issued by an EU country, or in Northern Ireland, you can travel as before and do not need new documentation, as long as an EU vet has kept your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date. UK vets are not able to renew European passports, this must be done in their country of origin.

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to check before you travel for the documentation needed for your destination and to ensure that you apply for it within the required timescales.


Animal Health Certificates (AHC)

If you are travelling with your pet or within five days of its departure to an EU country or Northern Ireland, you will probably need an AHC. Only OVs can issue these certificates and they must be issued within 10 days of your departure date. Once issued the certificate lasts for four months. The AHC requires that your pet must have been vaccinated for rabies, you must wait 21 days after this before you can travel.


The Export Health Certificate (EHC)

If you’re planning on travelling five days earlier or later than your pet to an EU country, you may need an Export Health Certificate or EHC to travel. You can check this with the APHA Centre for International Trade in Carlisle, by calling them on 03000 200 301 or email [email protected] with details of your trip. They will explain how an EHC works.

To be issued with an EHC you will need to nominate an OV or Official Vet (we are not offering this service currently) to check the EHC’s details against your pet’s health record and identification requirements. Once your nominated vet receives the EHC, it will usually be completed and given to you 48 hours prior to your pet’s departure.

Non EU Countries – the Export Certificate (EC)

If you are travelling to a non-EU country you should contact the APHA Centre for International Trade who will help you with this. You might also like to contact that country’s embassy. Most countries are signed up to export agreements that are laid out in a government produced Export Certificate. Each country has different requirements and timescales for preparation of the paperwork. The airline that you’re travelling with may also be able to help you and pet transport companies, if you’re using one, will have up to date details.

Again, you’ll need to nominate an OV to check your pet’s details and issue the certificate ready for your travel.


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