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Pets passports

Pet passports are part of the European Union (EU) Regulation on the movement of pet animals. Certain non-EU listed countries may also issue a passport. Dogs travelling on Pet Passports must be treated against tapeworms before entering the UK from most countries. The treatment will be recorded in the passport.  

Your questions answered

What regulations affect pet travel?

There is an EU Regulation that sets out the requirements for the movement of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) travelling within the European Community, and into the Community from non-EU countries. It also refers to importation requirements applying to rodents, domestic rabbits, birds (except certain poultry), ornamental tropical fish, invertebrates (except bees and crustaceans), amphibians and reptiles. The Regulation can be downloaded from the European Union (EU) website - see http://europa.eu/travel/pets/index_en.htm.

What does the passport contain?

The Passport will contain your details (as the owner) and your pet's details, including details of its microchip number, rabies vaccination and blood test results (if required). There are also sections to record the tapeworm treatment required for entry to the UK. Only pets entering or re-entering the UK need to comply with all these requirements. If the animal is going to an EU country and not returning to the UK, all that will be required is that the microchip and vaccination details are recorded in the Passport. Blood tests following rabies vaccination are only required for animals entering the UK from listed third countries (http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/).

The Passport does not have a section for a "valid from" date to be recorded - the date from which the Passport can be used to enter or re-enter the UK is calculated as being 21 days after the pet was vaccinated against rabies. You must continue to have your pet vaccinated against rabies on time.

The passport remains valid provided 21 days have passed and you keep its vaccinations up to date (this is the date shown in the valid from date in section IV of the Passport).

How do I get a passport?

Passports may only be issued by specially qualified vets (OVs) - so if there is no-one at your local practice who can sign the passport they should provide you with the details of a local OV. When you go to get a Pet Passport, you must take your pet, along with its microchip details and vaccination record, to the vet. Your vet may already have these details, but it is better to take them along.  

Which countries qualify?

Dogs, cats and ferrets will be able to enter the UK from qualifying countries provided they meet the relevant requirements. For a list of qualifying countries, visit: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/countries/.

There will still be free movement within the British Isles, including between the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. However, owners with PETS documents are advised to take these with them when travelling with their animal.

Other information

A new Pet travel: third country certificate can be used for the non-commercial movement of up to 5 pets from all third countries into all EU Member States, including the UK. This can be issued by official veterinarians in all third countries.

The certificate is valid for entry into the EU for 10 days from the date of issue and remains valid for a total of 4 months from the date of issue for further intra-Community travel. Further details are available at https://www.gov.uk/pet-travel-information-for-pet-owners#countries-and-territories.

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