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A pet passport helps you to ship your pets into and around Europe without any problems. It forms part of the Pet Travel Scheme - the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK without having to undergo quarantine.
In order to get into the UK, pets must comply with all of the aspects of the Pet Travel Scheme, as listed on our Pet Travel Scheme page or the gov.uk website.
The important thing to note with Pet Passports is that they can only be issued by an approved vet within an approved EU country- you cannot obtain a Pet Passport in the USA, Canada, Australia or any other non-EU approved Pet Travel Scheme country.
The good news is that if you come in from outside the UK on the Pet Travel Scheme with a EU Health Certificate (along with the supporting paperwork) then this paperwork is all you will need to obtain a Pet Passport. All the information can be easily transferred by an OV (Official Veterinarian)- most vet practices will have at least one OV.
If your pet already has a pet passport from when they left the EU, they can re-enter from outside the EU with a valid Pet Passport instead of having to obtain an EU health certificate.
In Europe all entries into a pet passport must be made by a vet(owners cannot complete the Pet Passport) and it always helps if the details are a) as complete as possible- i.e. full vaccine details, full date and times where applicable and b) legible. We would always reccomend that you check your pet passport once it has been completed- your vet is only human - since the responsibility lies with you to make sure that the paperwork is OK when you re-enter the the UK.
When abroad entries can be made by vets but you are advised to still carry rabies vaccinations certificates for vaccines entered outside the EU.
There is space for Tick and Tapeworm treatements in the passport which may be completed by any vet.
Pet Passports can be used as a "fit to fly" statement- the "clinical examination" page, once completed by your vet, is accepted by the airlines as proof that the pet is OK to fly. However, this must still be within the required time for the airline, normally a maximum of a week before the flight, and all other requirements for the destination country must be met.
Within Europe, the Pet Passport can be used to move pets but only as long as the contents match the requirements of the country. For instance:
For a cat to fly from the UK to France: Microchip, then Rabies Vaccination, then wait 21 days before a Pet Passport can be issued/used.
As of January 2012, the cat can return to the UK as long as the rabies vaccination is up to date. This applies to trips to the UK from Europe and listed 3rd countries.
HOWEVER- if you have a passport and you travel to an unlisted 3rd country, you must have a blood test in the passport, taken at least 30 days after the date of rabies vaccination. This cannot be less than 30 days. In the case of a pet being blood tested and issued a pet passport before leaving the UK or another EU country then the 3 month waiting period listed on the DEFRA pet travel scheme page does not apply.
If the gap is less than 30 days and you travel to an unlisted country then you will need to have a new blood test and wait 3 months prior to arrival in the UK- you can still use your Pet Passport, just make sure that all the information is listed in it and we'd reccomend keeping a copy of the new blood test result in the back of the passport- and don't forget to keep your rabies vaccination up to date!
Rabies vaccinations must always be kept up-to-date with no gaps since the original vaccination in order to keep the passport valid. Tapeworm treatment, with the appropriate products at the appropriate time must be given (in the case of dogs only).
We're here to help though, so please feel to contact us with any pet shipping questions. We always say check check check before you travel with your pet, so please check with your vet, or with us, or with Animal Health (AHVLA)!
Here is a quick overview from the gov.uk website:
You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat, dog or ferret if it:
Dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment.
Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you don’t follow these rules - or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.
You must follow extra rules if the animals will be:
There are different rules for entering other countries from the UK with your pet. Check the rules for the country you’re travelling to.
Your pet must arrive in the UK no more than 5 days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow different rules.
You must use an approved transport company and route unless you’re travelling between the UK and Ireland
You need to fill in a declaration confirming that you aren’t going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet.
The rules are different if you’re bringing other animals into the UK.