Does my pet need its own passport to travel?

SINCE Brexit, the way in which pets can go abroad has change.

The UK is now a Part 2 listed country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning pet owners will need to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their furry friends if they want to fly.

Does my pet need its own passport to travel?

For almost two decades, pet owners have been able to go abroad with their furry friends under the 'pet passport' scheme.

Up until the start of 2021, the EU Pet Travel Scheme allowed Britons to take their pets on unlimited trips to and from the rest of the EU – but in the wake of Brexit, that's changed.

The EU has removed the UK from its ‘Part one listed’ status in the Pet Travel Scheme and will no longer accept pet passports issued in the UK. 

Whether you're deciding to go abroad with your dog, cat or ferret, what you will need will depend on where you are going to.

There are different rules for travelling with your pet to an EU country or Northern Ireland and for taking your pet to a non-EU country.

When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs:

  • a microchip
  • a valid rabies vaccination (bear in mind you will need to wait 21 days after any primary vaccinations before you travel)
  • an animal health certificate unless you have a pet passport issued in an EUcountry or Northern Ireland
  • tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta

How can I get a passport for my pet?

In order to get an animal health certificate, you must take your pet to the vet no more than 10 days before you travel.

The certificate needs to be signed by an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV), after having reviewed your pet's microchipping date and vaccination history.

The animal health certificate will then be valid after the date of issue for 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland, 4 months for onward travel within the EU, and 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain.

How much does a pet passport cost?

Costs will vary from vet to vet with an animal health certificate usually costing between £100 and £180.

This cost covers the consultation, reviewing and finalising all your documents.

Any vaccinations or medications required in addition will incur additional charges.

A microchip is £16.28 and will only need to be implanted once.

A Rabies vaccination costs £50.40 – this will need to be repeated every three years to allow continual travel under the Pet Travel Scheme.

What animals can get a passport?

Most pets including dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets can get an animal health certificate.

Whether your pet can fly will depend on the airline you are flying with.

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