Travelling to the European Union or Northern Ireland with your pet?
A current EU pet passport issued in GB will NOT be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1st January 2021.
Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel to the EU or NI for the first time after 1st January 2021, you’ll need to apply for an animal health certificate. This must be issued 10 days or less before you travel but please book the appointments in advance.
What your pet needs to apply for an animal health certificate
- Your dog, cat or ferret must be microchipped.
- Your dog, cat or ferret needs to be vaccinated against rabies (NB: your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated)
- You will need to wait 21 days after any primary vaccinations before you travel so bear this in mind when you are planning your travel and AHC appointment
How do I get an animal health certificate?
An animal health certificate (AHC) can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). An appointment for this can be arranged by contacting us but please do this as soon as you book your journey. We cannot guarantee we will be able to provide an AHC at the last minute as we may not have the spare appointment time.
When you apply for an animal health certificate, you will need to take your pet, along with vaccination and other medical records, to the issuing vet.
An Animal Health Certificate normally includes details of:
- Pet owner’s details
- Your pet’s description
- Rabies vaccination details (your animal will need to have been vaccinated at least three weeks prior to the AHC appointment and have had a UK Rabies vaccine within the past three years)
- Rabies blood test (as required)
- Canine tapeworm treatment (as required)
- Intended country of entry (The AHC has to be issued in the language of the country in which you are entering the EU)
Which countries do I need an animal health certificate for?
You need an animal health certificate for your dog, cat or ferret if they’ll be travelling from the UK to an EU country and then returning to the UK. You can’t do this after your pet’s rabies vaccination has expired to the UK from an EU country, or another country the UK accepts animal health certificates from. If your pet is travelling from a non-EU country then different rules may apply (for example additional documentation or blood samples). See www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad for government guidelines on which countries this is applicable to.
Why is an animal health certificate necessary?
An Animal Health Certificate, along with any other official documentation, is a legal requirement in order to bring your pet into the UK or take it to a European Union country mainland Europe without quarantine. The primary purpose is to keep the UK free from rabies, and other foreign diseases such as those transmitted by parasites that do not exist in the UK.
Who can issue an animal health certificate?
Your animal health certificate can only be issued by a vet who has been authorised by the government (an Official Veterinarian).
Who can apply for an animal health certificate?
The owner, as named in on the animal health certificate must be aged over 16. Pets must be accompanied either by their owner or by a person authorised in writing by the owner.
How much does an animal health certificate cost?
An Animal Health Certificate costs £149.00 (this is the extended consultation and includes reviewing & finalising all your legal documents. Any vaccinations or medications required in addition will incur additional charges). You will need a new certificate every time you leave the UK, including travel to Ireland/NI.
How long does it take to process an animal health certificate?
An animal health certificate can only be issued ten days to travel (ie: you will have 10 days to use it to leave this country). Please bear in mind that travel to some countries require blood tests and additional treatments, and in these cases, passports or travel certification can take significantly longer to prepare and issue. You should always contact us as soon as possible if you are planning to travel.
How long is the animal health certificate valid for?
Animal health certificates can then be used for travel between EU countries (including the UK) for up to four months from the date your animal enters the EU (leaves the UK).
How old does my pet have to be to get their animal health certificate?
The EU Regulation requires pets to be at least 12 weeks old when vaccinated. Whilst some EU countries will allow young, unvaccinated pets to travel (subject to certain conditions) the UK does not permit this. This means no pet can enter the UK unless they are 15 weeks old (12 weeks and 21-day wait).
How many pets can one person apply for animal health certificates for?
The owner or authorised person can only be accompanied by a maximum of five pets. You cannot take more than 5 pets to an EU country or NI unless you’re attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event. You’ll need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.
Where do I need to go to for my animal health certificate application appointment?
All AHCs will be issued from our Milehouse clinic, please call 01752 567567 to arrange an appointment.
Where can I get more pet travel advice from?
You can read more about Animal health certificates and pet travel at www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad