Pet Travel

Advice & information on travelling abroad with your pets

GENRAL ADVICE WHEN TRAVELLING ABROAD WITH YOUR PET

  1. Travelling to the EU and Northern Ireland requires and AHC (Animal health certificate). Please see the section on AHCs for more information.
  2. Travelling to other countries that do not accept the AHC requires an EHC (Export Health certificate). Please see the section on EHCs for more information.
  3. Think about how long you are going to be abroad for, the travel arrangements, what activities you will be doing abroad and whether it is in your pet’s interests to travel with you.
  4. Make sure you pet’s routine vaccinations are up to date. Please note that routine vaccines cannot be given at the same time as the rabies vaccine. So, this needs to be taken into account when planning your trip.
  5. Check whether you per health insurance policy will cover you while you are abroad.
  6. The use of flea and tick prevention is advised at all times while abroad. There are diseases abroad carries by ticks that are not present in the UK. However, just as in the UK, we still remove any ticks you may find using a tick remover. These are available from your vet.
  7. We would advise preventative roundworm and lungworms treatment as in the UK.
  8. Even though dogs are wormed on re-entry to the UK for tape worms we would recommend worming every 4 weeks while abroad and again 4 weeks after your return.
  9. Some countries have a disease called leishmaniasis which is transmitted by the sandfly. If this is endemic in your country of travel then sand fly repellent is advised. At present, the vaccines against this disease are not available in the UK but any dogs spending longer periods in endemic areas can look into getting the vaccinated while they are abroad.
  10. Some animals and certain breeds are classed as dangerous animals in various countries abroad and may either need muzzling while abroad or may even not be allowed to travel to that country. Please check with the country of travel for special requirements.
  11. Please note it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the microchip is working and that all your pets travel documents are correct and valid for travel through all the relevant countries on your trip.
  12. If you have further questions then please contact the surgery.

Useful links and telephone numbers.

www.gov.uk/taking-you-pet-abroad

Pet Travel Helpline 

Email: pettravel@apha.gov.uk

Tel: 03702411710 Mon-Fri 8.30am -5.00pm Closed Bank Holidays

Information on EHCs (Export Health Certificates)

What are the differences between an export health certificate (ECH) and an animal health certificate (AHC)

An AHC is the new document required to take your dog, cat or ferret abroad instead of the old Pet passport. It is for short stays (less than 4 months duration) only. The owner must travel either with the pet or within 5 days of the pet. No change of ownership should take place (either for money or gifted) and there must be less than 5 pets travelling. It is for travelling to countries within the EU that are part of the scheme. It must be valid for the country you first disembark, countries your travel through and your final destination. Please check with the Government website about your own particular journey. www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

An EHC is the document required when travelling to countries that do not accept the AHC, or when you do not meet one of the requirements listed above. EHCs and their requirements differ depending on the country or countries being visited. Please check with the Government website about your own particular journey. www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad

Obtaining an EHC

Here at Moorview vets we are currently UNABLE to issue EHCs. We can facilitate the process by conducting the required blood tests, vaccines and any preventative health treatments (and provide certification of such services). However, you need to find a company who can provide the services of an Official Veterinarian (OV) to complete the EHC certificate and examine your pet prior to travel.

Please be aware that the process can sometimes take over 6 months to complete for some countries.

Also, not only are there requirements for the EHC but also the country you are going to often has IMPORT REQUIREMENTS and you have to contact the individual country to find out these requirements.

EHCs for non-EU countries

 Travelling to non-EU countries with your pet is best facilitated through a dedicated pet travel company. They will help arrange everything for you, including the final examination of the pet (usually done at or near the airport) and providing the final EHC document. You can search online to find such companies. We do not have any affiliations with any companies and therefore cannot recommend a particular company to use.

EHCs for EU countries

If your pet is flying to an EU country and requires an EHC as circumstances mean you do not qualify for an AHC, then the above information about pet travel companies applies to you. If your pet is travelling by Eurotunnel or by sea and requires an EHC, then you will need to find an Official Veterinarian (OV) who can provide this service. It will require a clinical examination of your pet or pets at a set time prior to travel so that the EHC can be issued. Although we can provide you with documents of certification of vaccines, blood tests and medications, the OV completing the EHC is the vet that will have to examine your pet at this set pre-travel appointment. If this cannot be done locally to you before you set off, this may mean factoring a trip to the OV on your journey through England, or at a vet near the Eurotunnel or port.

To find a list of vets able to carry out certification for EHCs, please see the government website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-a-professional-to-certify-export-health-certificates

Please note that not all these vets will offer a service for small animals (dogs, cats and ferrets), so please read the information for each vet at the above link carefully.

While we may help facilitate the process of taking pets abroad, it is ultimately the owner’s responsibility to make sure that they have all the correct documentation for their trip.

Animal Health Certificate Requirement for Travelling

ANIMAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE (AHC) REQUIREMENT FOR TRAVELLING TO EUROPE INCLUDING IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND.

Due to Brexit, UK-issued pet passports are no longer valid. Any pet with a valid up to date rabies vaccine in an EU-issued passport can travel on their passport, but UK vets are no longer able to write in these passports and keep them up to date. To keep EU passports valid, the rabies vaccine has to be done in an EU country and signed and dated by an EU vet. The UK passports are no longer valid at all.

Instead of pet passports, your pet will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). This allows travel to EU countries in the scheme, but is not a fit to travel document. These documents can be produced for dogs, cats and ferrets.

The basic requirements are:

  1. Your pet must be microchipped (a legal requirement in the UK for dogs and soon to be for cats)
  2. They must have a rabies vaccine at least 21 days before the AHC can be issued. Do not leave it until the last minute, as soon as you know you want to take your pet to the EU, book an appointment for a rabies vaccine and discussion.
  3. The AHC is valid for 10 days after issuing (i.e. You have 10 days to depart once the AHC has been issued.
  4. Unlike pet passports, the AHC is single trip use only.
  5. The AHC is valid for onward travel within the EU and Northern Ireland and return to the UK within 4 months.
  6. Dogs travelling from GB to EU listed tapeworm free countries including Northern Ireland, Malta, Ireland, Finland, and Norway must be treated for tapeworm prior to travel in accordance with EU requirements. This has to be done by a vet 24-120 hours before travel and document signed.
  7. Dogs returning to the UK form the EU need to be treated for tape worm by a vet and document signed 24-120 hours before retuning.  Pets travelling directly to GB from Northern Ireland, Finland, Ireland, Malta, or Norway are exempt from this treatment.
  8. Travel must be for non-commercial purposes. So, there must be no change of ownership.
  9. The person that travels with the pet must be the owner or an authorised person. If the pet is not travelling with the owner, they must be reunited with the owner within 5 days of entry to the EU.
  10. The AHC has to be signed by the person travelling with the pet – therefore the person travelling with the pet must come to the AHC appointment to sign the document.
  11. Pets need to travel through a designated traveller’s point of entry (TPE)
  12. Make sure that all the documentation is correct for your particular journey. The AHC is specific to the country of entry to the EU (NOT eventual destination). Please note that it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the microchip is working and that all your pet’s documents are correct and valid for travel through all the relevant countries on your trip.
  13. AMENDMENT FOR PETS TRAVELLING WITH OWNERS TO NORTHERN IRELAND ONLY Until further notice, for advice about travelling to Northern Ireland with dogs, cats and ferrets, we are directing you to the Irish government website. This advice changes frequently, so please ensure you have checked for up-to-date information prior to travelling: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/travelling-pets

Travelling from GB to NI or travelling from NI to GB and returning to NI

On 6 September 2021, the UK Government issued a written statement confirming that the current Protocol arrangements will continue, including no routine checks on pet travel within the UK.

Please use the website address for more details. https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/writtenstatements/detail/2021-09-06/hlws257(external link opens in a new window / tab)

There will be no routine checks on the non-commercial movement of pets from GB to NI until further notice. ·

Please see Q&As for Pet Travel from 1 January 2021

Officials reserve the right to undertake checks in the interim should there be a suspicion of illegal activity or welfare concerns.

So, in short, it is still a legal requirement for pets to be issued an AHC to travel to NI from GB, and if you decide to go to Northern Ireland without this documentation, it is your responsibility should you be stopped and checked.

Please note you still need documentation if travelling on into Ireland as this is within the EU.

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO THE EU OR NORTHERN IRELAND THEN PLEASE CONTACT THE SURGERY AND THEY WILL BE ABLE TO BOOK THE NECESSARY APPOINTMENTS

Practice information

Backworth

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Northumberland Park

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