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Pet travel after Brexit

At the beginning of 2021, Great Britain (GB) became a Third Country with respect to the EU Pet Travel Scheme. 

Instead of a pet passport, pets now need a document called an Animal Health Certificate. This applies to all pets travelling from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland. Pet passports are no longer valid if you’re travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland from England, Scotland or Wales.

What do I need to do to get my dog, cat or ferret ready for travel to the EU?

You’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Ensure your pet is microchipped
  2. Ensure your pet is vaccinated against rabies*
  3. Ensure a minimum of 21 days elapses between the date of the rabies vaccination and the completion of the Animal Health Certificate
  4. Get an Animal Health Certificate signed by an Official Vet within 10 days of travel – the Official Vet will only be able to sign this if you meet the criteria above

*Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old to receive a rabies vaccination.

What will happen when I arrive in the EU?

Once you arrive, you’ll need to enter through a designated point of entry. You’ll also be asked to present your Animal Health Certificate, plus proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and tapeworm treatment (if required).  

What will happen when I return to Great Britain from the EU?

There’ll be no significant changes to the existing process of entering Great Britain from the EU. When you do arrive back in GB with your pet, you’ll need to present one of the following documents:

  • An EU pet passport (issued in the EU or UK before 1st January 2021)
  • The Animal Health Certificate issued in Great Britain (the one you were issued for travel to the EU)
  • A UK Pet Health Certificate (for travel into the UK only)

How long will the Animal Health Certificate be valid for?

The AHC will be valid for:

  • For entering the EU – 10 days
  • For onward travel within the EU – four months after the date of issue
  • For re-entry to Great Britain – four months after the date of issue

What to do if I’m taking repeat trips to the EU?

Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to the EU.

So long as you can prove they’ve been microchipped and they’re up to date with their Rabies vaccination, you’ll need to visit your Official Vet 10 days before the date you intend to travel.

Contact your local vet to make an appointment with one of their Official Vets.

What is an Official Vet?

An Official Veterinarian is a vet who performs work on behalf of the government. This work includes making sure animals and animal-based goods (meat, products made of leather etc) are fit to be exported outside of the UK.

Contact your local vet to make an appointment with one of their Official Vets.

What should I do next?

If you have any concerns about travelling with your dog, cat or ferret, have a chat with your local vet – they’ll happily advise on how to get your pet ready for travel.

Use our Find a Vet page to locate your nearest practice, or chat to a vet online today.