If you are planning on travelling to Europe with your pet these are the changes you need to be aware of…
The rules for travelling to the EU and Northern Ireland with your pet have changed. It’s not quite so straightforward now!
Since the 31st January 2021, you can no longer use a UK pet passport to travel abroad. Instead, you will need an Animal Health Certificate. These are filled out by your vet (as long as they are an ‘Official Veterinarian’) but can only be written within ten days of travel. They then can be used for up to four months onward travel within the EU and subsequent re-entry to the UK. Each time you travel you will need a new certificate.
Your dog or cat’s rabies vaccination will also need to be up to date. If you are travelling to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Norway, Malta or Finland a tapeworm treatment will need to be given prior to travel. If you are visiting any other EU countries you will still need to have a tapeworm treatment given between 1 and 5 days before your entry to the UK.
One more thing – you (the owner) will need to travel with your pet or you will need to authorise a specific other person to travel instead, however you will need to join your pet within five days if this is the case. Whoever will be travelling will need to be at the veterinary appointment.
If your pet has an EU passport, this can still be used for travel but only for as long as the rabies vaccine is in date. However, be aware booster rabies vaccinations cannot be entered by UK vets in EU passports unfortunately!
Because of the complexities of the certificate, your vet will most likely want you to give them a few weeks notice to book a certificate appointment.
Leigh Sobye BVSc MRCVS
Full government guidelines are available here www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad