Are you bringing your canine or cat to the EU or Northern Eire subsequent yr? You want a brand new animal well being certificates

If you live in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) you need to make sure your pet has been microchipped, vaccinated and examined by your veterinarian before you travel – but the good news is you need yours Do not contact the vet at least four months prior to travel, which may be prior to this week's announcement.

The change in rules for traveling with pets is just one of several changes that will be made on January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period ends and the UK completes its exit from the EU. For more information on everything from property prices to consumer rights, check out our 22 Brexit Need-to-Knows Handbook.

Bringing your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland? What do you have to do

The new rules only apply to dogs – including assistance dogs – cats and ferrets. If you want to bring another animal abroad, you must comply with the national regulations of the EU country you are traveling to.

You also cannot bring more than five pets into an EU country or Northern Ireland unless you are participating in or training for a competition, show or sporting event – and you need to prove it.

If you plan to bring five or fewer dogs, cats or ferrets to the EU or Northern Ireland on or after January 1, 2021, you must do the following the first time:

  1. You will need to microchip your dog, cat or ferret if they haven't already
  2. You must vaccinate your dog, cat, or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated
  3. You have to wait 21 days after the first vaccination before traveling
  4. You must visit your veterinarian with your pet in order to receive an animal health certificate no later than 10 days before departure
  5. Additionally, if you are traveling to Finland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway or the Republic of Ireland with a dog, you must ensure that they are treated for tapeworms one to five days before they arrive in those countries. This must be stated on the pet's animal health certificate

The following requirements allow you to take your pet with you for a maximum of four months. If you are staying in the EU or Northern Ireland for more than four months, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says you should speak to a veterinarian in the EU or Northern Ireland about documentation options for onward travel or return to the UK.

As long as you keep your pets' rabies vaccinations up to date, you will not need to get a booster vaccination for future trips to the EU or Northern Ireland (except for tapeworm treatments for dogs visiting the countries listed above). However, you will need to apply for a new animal health certificate for each trip.

Remember to take your animal health certificate with you when you travel, along with evidence of microchips, rabies vaccinations and tapeworm treatment (if required) as you will need to show them when you enter the EU country or Northern Ireland.

Where can you get an animal health certificate from?

You can get an animal health certificate from your veterinarian within 10 days of departure. The price for the advice, advice, vaccination and issuing of documents is set by each individual veterinarian. So ask in advance if you have any concerns about fees. The British Veterinary Association, an industry association, was unable to give us an average cost for these services as they vary based on the practice and the size and breed of your pet.

The animal health certificate itself is valid for:

  • Entry into the EU or Northern Ireland within 10 days of the date of issue
  • Onward travel within the EU or Northern Ireland for four months from the date of issue or until the rabies vaccination expires, whichever is earlier
  • Re-entry into the UK for four months from the date of issue, provided the rabies vaccination does not expire

Returning to the UK with your pet? The rules remain unchanged

The current situation for pets entering the UK from January 1, 2021 will not change anything. If you are not from the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland which do not require documentation, your pet must have one of the following documents:

  • An EU pet passport issued in the EU or the UK before January 1, 2021, or a pet passport from a third country listed in Part 1 – which countries this includes can be found on the website
  • A UK-issued animal health certificate for travel to the EU issued within four months of your arrival
  • A UK Animal Health Certificate – This is a different type of certificate than the Animal Health Certificate and can only be used to enter the UK

As now, if you are traveling with a dog from a country other than Finland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway or the Republic of Ireland, you must have tapeworm treatment at least 24 hours and no more than five days prior to entering the UK.

For more information, please contact or the Pet Travel Helpline at [email protected] or 0370 241 1710.

What if I am traveling with a Northern Ireland pet?

The January 1, 2021 rules for those living in Northern Ireland are currently unclear. We have contacted Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to ask what the situation is and will update this story if we hear anything.

If you currently live in Northern Ireland and are planning to travel to the UK with a dog, cat or ferret you need to ensure that they meet the following requirements:

  • Has been microchipped
  • Has a pet passport or an official third country veterinary certificate issued by non-EU countries
  • Has been vaccinated against rabies – a blood test is also required if you are traveling from an "unlisted country".
  • Dogs may need to be treated with tapeworms

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