Pet Travel & Animal Health Certificates
We are pleased to have ‘Official Veterinarians’ (OVs) as part of our veterinary team. Not all veterinary surgeons are OVs – this is a government-appointed status that allows the completion and approval of the necessary government paperwork to permit your pets to travel abroad.
As of the 1st January 2021 the UK is no longer permitted to issue or use Pet Passports for Pet Travel within the EU. Since the UK has left the EU, pet travel paperwork has become more complicated when travelling within the EU. The current system often involves issuing an official document, an ‘Animal Health Certificate’ (AHC). An AHC, along with any other official documentation, is a legal requirement in order to bring your pet into the UK or take it to an EU country without quarantine.
In order to obtain an Animal Health Certificate, your pet must be microchipped and have an up-to-date rabies vaccination. If your pet needs a rabies vaccination, the AHC can only be signed a minimum of 21 days after the rabies vaccination and no earlier. An Animal Health Certificate can only be issued 10 days prior to travel (you will have 10 days to leave the country). Once issued they can be used for travel between EU countries (and the UK) for up to four months from the date your animal enters the EU.
If your pet is travelling to a non-EU country then different rules will apply. Please see www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad It is best to be fully prepared and consult the government website for pet travel for further information. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to find out what documents are required for the destination country, as requirements for travel regularly change over time. Even if you have travelled with your pet previously, we would still advise ensuring that the requirements have not changed.
The paperwork required can be demanding and does vary, depending on the destination country. If you have plans to travel with your pet we would advise finding out the requirements for your destination country and getting in touch with us as soon as possible with an outline of your plans. It can sometimes be a lengthy process and some countries may require particular tests, treatments or vaccinations before travel.
If you have any questions please contact the surgery and we will be happy to help.