Travelling abroad with your pet
Exports to Northern Ireland and the European Union.
Following the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, several changes have been made to pet travel; most notably GB Pet Passports are no longer valid for travel. The Animal Health Certificate (“AHC”) has replaced GB passports.
Animal Health Certificates to NI/EU
- Animal health certificates are issued by an Official Veterinarian, a vet who has undergone further training to be permitted to export animals.
- AHCs can be issued for dogs, cats, and ferrets only. If you wish to export a different animal, please contact us for further information.
- Up to 5 animals can travel on one certificate.
- Each AHC is valid for exit from GB for 10 days after it is signed.
- Once in Europe, the certificate is valid for onwards travel within Europe, and return to GB for a period of 4 months OR until the rabies vaccine expires, whichever is sooner.
- If your trip is going to be longer than 4 months, alternative documentation will need to be issued within the EU for you to be able to bring your pet back to GB.
- Each certificate is valid for 1 trip out of Great Britain. Subsequent trips will need a new certificate.
Requirements for Travel
- A working microchip.
- A valid rabies vaccine that has been administered at least 21 days prior to your date of departure and is within the period of expiry.
- A rabies vaccine can only be given from 12 weeks of age, therefore the earliest an animal can generally be exported from GB is 15 weeks of age.If you have an old GB pet passport, which has a valid rabies vaccine in it, please keep this as proof of previous vaccination.
- An AHC issued at most 10 days before travel.
- Note: an AHC can only be written once the rabies vaccine has become valid.
- If travelling to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, Norway, a tapeworm treatment is required between 24 hours and 120 hours (5 days) before travel. This will be administered by your vet.For other countries, a tapeworm treatment will be required between 24 hours and 120 hours prior to return to Great Britain. You will need to find a vet in Europe to do this for you.
Information on Passports
All GB passports are now invalid for travel. They can be used as proof of previous rabies vaccines.
- If you have an EU passport with a valid rabies vaccine, this passport may be valid for travel, please contact us to confirm this.
- If you have an EU passport with an expired rabies vaccine, that passport is invalid and cannot be used for travel. An AHC will be required instead.
- The passport cannot be updated with a new rabies vaccine by a GB vet; GB vets are only permitted to write in the tapeworm section and fit-to-fly section of EU passports.
Information on travelling to Northern Ireland
There has been an increase in new articles online, claiming that no documentation or preparation is required to transport a pet to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. This is false.
There are no routine checks being carried out on animals entering NI from GB, however there are still welfare checks and random spot checks occurring. The absence of routine checks is not an exemption from the legal requirement to have the required documentation, vaccinations, and tapeworm treatments.
All animals entering Northern Ireland require a microchip, a valid rabies vaccine, an AHC and a tapeworm treatment administered by a vet.
If you attempt to enter Northern Ireland without the correct paperwork, the pet(s) may be placed in quarantine at the expense of the pet owner, and the pet owner may be liable for prosecution.
Changes to the process of entering Northern Ireland may occur in the future, this webpage will be updated if that occurs.
Exports to Countries Outside of the EU
Please contact us if you wish to export an animal to a country outside of the EU. Requirements for different countries vary dramatically, and bespoke information is required for these exports. We would recommend contacting us as soon as you can prior to the planned export date, to allow plenty of time for all preparations to be made.
Westway Veterinary Group also has the capacity to export other animals and products of animal origin (POAO) out of the GB.
Please contact us for further information and to book an appointment. Deposit will be taken to secure your booking.