Pet Travel Scheme Update April 2021

The rules for travelling abroad with your pet have changed. Please read the following information before travelling abroad with your pet. This includes important information on Animal Health Certificates (AHC)

For countries other than the EU & Northern Ireland

Owners are advised to contact APHA for the latest rules and regulations for export: 03000 200 301 or visit their website: www.gov.uk/export-health-certificates. You are advised to do this as soon as possible as the requirements may influence the timing and type of vaccines and treatments that we give.

For travel to the EU and Northern Ireland.

You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.

A rabies vaccination must be given by a vet (from 12 weeks of age) and pets must wait 21 days from the rabies vaccination before travelling. There is no waiting period after a rabies booster, as long as the booster was given within the validity period of the previous dose.

You must take your pet to an Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before arrival abroad (or departure if going by boat) to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

For dogs going to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta, a tapeworm treatment must be administered by a vet 1-5 days before entering the country and this must be recorded on the AHC.

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets would be required to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, the pet owner may be asked to present proof of microchip insertion date and rabies vaccination. Also authorisation from the owner (issued within 5 days) if the owner is not present, and the AHC.

Although we endeavour to send reminders for rabies vaccine boosters it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the boosters are given before the current ‘valid until’ date, otherwise a further 21 days after vaccination must elapse before they can travel

If staying abroad for more than a short holiday, owners are advised to contact the local foreign authority. UK rabies boosters need to be given every three years but animals considered resident in a foreign country may require annual boosters and/or compliance with other local regulations.

Your pet’s microchip should be checked prior to travel. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure this is working. You can get a vet or nurse to check this.

Foreign diseases. There are foreign diseases that do not occur in the U.K and to which your pet may be susceptible. You are advised to check the website www.esccap.org – Travelling Advice. Please contact us at least a month before travel to arrange for suitable parasite treatment and you should check that you will be allowed to carry the necessary anti-parasite treatment with you as this varies from country to country.

We advise you to carry a tick removal tool with you (available from us) to remove any ticks as soon as possible.

We advise that you repeat tapeworm treatment sometime during the first 30 days after returning to the UK. Also repeat tick treatment once back with timing depending on what the previous product was.

Although called an Animal Health Certificate, the issuing vet will not be checking on your pet’s health, it’s fitness to travel, or fitness to live in a different country or climate.

Returning to the UK

Your pet must have ONE of the following documents when returning to the UK:

EU pet passport (issued in the EU, or in GB before 1/1/21, or a Pet Passport issued in a Part 1 listed third country
The AHC issued in GB for travel to the EU (valid for 4 months)
An animal health certificate issued in the EU for travel to the UK only

You will not need this documentation if returning from NI, The Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

Before returning to the UK dogs must have an authorised tapeworm treatment administered by a vet recorded in the Passport or AHC. Make sure the time and date are recorded. This has to be done not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before its scheduled arrival time in the U.K.Tapeworm treatment is not required if travelling directly to the UK from NI, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta.

  To obtain an AHC

The AHC can only be issued by Official Veterinarians (OVs) and not all our vets have this qualification. Appointments will therefore have limited availability and will only be carried out on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday, so book in good time.  If your pet requires a tapeworm treatment to travel, it will cost less if this is done at the same time as the AHC, so should be between 1 & 5 days before arrival abroad. The AHC will need to be checked by another vet and so is unlikely to be available on the day of your appointment. Please tell us in advance if this will be a problem. We will call you when the AHC is available to collect.

We will start to complete the certificate before your appointment therefore ensure that we have the correct owner’s name, address and telephone number to go on the form. If this differs from our records please explain why and tell us if we should amend our records.

You must tell us the language spoken in the first EU country you will enter, so that we can obtain the correct AHC.

If the pet will be accompanied by someone who is not the owner you need to tell us their name. You will also need to provide them with written authority (issued within 5 days of the travel) to undertake the pet travel on your behalf.

The pet will need to be brought to us by the owner, or the person who will accompany the animals on behalf of the owner, as one of you will need to sign the AHC.

You will need to bring proof of the date on which the microchip was implanted, or proof that it was chipped before the rabies vaccination. This could be microchip documents or a Pet Passport. Tell us in advance if you cannot provide this as we may be able to provide certification based on clinical records. The proof needs to be in a form that can be photocopied.

You will need to bring proof of rabies vaccination in a form that can be photocopied. This can be a vaccination certificate or a Pet Passport. If you cannot provide this, tell us in advance as we may be able to provide certification based on clinical records.

Please read the AHC and inform us of any errors as soon as possible

We reserve the right to charge a fee if we start to create an AHC and you then cancel, or we need to correct any errors that were not our fault.

We believe this information to be correct at the time of writing, but you are advised to check on the Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021, or the Pet Travel helpline: email pettravel@apha.gov.uk, phone 03702 411710 M-F 8.30-5.00

Appointments for AHC’s to be completed are on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings only.

You will need to complete an AHC booking form before your appointment. This will be emailed to you when the booking is made or you can download a form here:
Foreign Travel Information for Mid Sussex Vets Clients (MS Word document)