To be able to take your pet to Northern Ireland or a country within the European Union, you need to have them issued with an Animal Health Certificate. This certificate can only be created by an Official Veterinarian under the guidance of DEFRA and certain requirements apply. Read on to find out more on pet travel and what you need to organise ahead of leaving the country.
Animal Health Certificates can be issued to dogs, cats and ferrets over three years of age, for travel for non-commercial reasons only. Assistance dogs will also need an Animal Health Certificate issued to travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. Each AHC is specific to the countries you are travelling through and to, and will be issued following a health examination by one of our Official Veterinarians.
To find out more about our team of vets, visit our Meet the Team page.
It is important to note that your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for every trip to a country in the European Union or to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Each AHC is valid for 10 days for entry into the EU/ Northern Ireland, 4 months for onward travel within the EU and 4 months for re-entry into Great Britain.
Our team are happy to provide you with estimated costs for the Animal Health Certificate(s) you need and the associated veterinary examinations.
Please note that you are no longer able to use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland (for Northern Ireland see additional guidance below).
When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland your pet needs:
You will need to go through a traveller’s point of entry when you arrive in an EU country or Northern Ireland. A list of these entry points can be found here.
Always check the rules of the country you are travelling to or through for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel – it is your responsibility to check the current rules for travel and arrange the appropriate documents.
Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland.
Your pet will not need a repeat rabies vaccination so long as their rabies vaccinations are up to date. If you are unsure whether your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, contact our team who will be more than happy to help you check.
To re-enter Great Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland, your pet will need the following:
Portland Vets can provide guidance where appropriate on pet travel, but it is the responsibility of the pet owner to know the requirements of travel for all the countries they plan to travel to and through.
As a practice, we recommend all pet owners contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) if you have questions or need further information.
For any planned travel outside of the EU, we highly recommend contacting he APHA as soon as possible so they can advise you of any further requirements that need to be fulfilled to enter your destination country. Their contact details are: