Animal Charity

Pet travel - what’s the new advice now that we’ve left the EU

12.1.2021

Now that we have officially left the European Union it's critical that as a pet owner you are aware of the new laws around pet travel.

Taking your pet abroad

You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland.  

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

Make sure to always check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel. 

You may be asked to show proof of any of the above upon entry to the EU or Northern Island, so make sure you carry all documentation with you on your trip.  

Travelling to Great Britain with your pet

An EU pet passport issued in a member state or Northern Ireland is still valid to enter GB, but before they enter, all pets must be: 

  • microchipped 
  • vaccinated against rabies (your vet needs proof that your pet’s at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them and will need to wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel). 

There are different requirements for pets entering from certain third countries, such as a rabies blood test. And, travellers from countries not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) will need to take your dog to a vet for an approved tapeworm treatment. You must do this no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering GB. 

Animal Charity

Pet travel documents

Your pet must have one of the following documents when entering or returning to GB: 

  • an EU pet passport issued in the EU (or in GB if issued before 1 January 2021), or a pet passport from another Part 1 listed third country 
  • the animal health certificate (AHC) issued in GB used to travel to the EU – which you can use to re-enter GB for up to 4 months after it was issued 
  • a GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only) 

Your pet will not need this documentation if it’s entering GB from Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man 

Brits abroad

If you at a British citizen who lives in the EU and plans to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your vet. They’ll help to ensure you’re compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations

Travelling with more than five animals

You cannot bring more than five pets into GB unless you’re attending or training for a competition, show, sporting event (and have written proof of this) or have approval as a rescue organisation.  

You’ll need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel. 

Need some help?

Animal Charity

contact the pet travel helpline

By calling 0370 241 1710 (open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm)
or 

Email them here
Animal Charity

Emily Wilson

Head of Programmes UK

Emily heads up the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK, managing our farming, wildlife and companion animal campaigns. She has worked for over a decade in conservation and animal welfare, protecting animals both in the UK and worldwide.