Pets Passport & Travel

If you are considering taking your pet out of the country there are a lot of things to think about and what you need to do very much depends on where you are going to, if your pet is returning to the UK and the means of transport by which it is travelling.

The EU PETS travel scheme applies to all dogs, cats and ferrets travelling with their owner and is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other diseases into the UK while still allowing pets to travel.

The UK has been free of rabies for many years, but mammals are still at risk in some other countries. All rabies-susceptible animals entering the UK have to spend six months in quarantine, unless they arrive under and meet all the conditions of PETS.

Please consider ALL the following points before organising travel for your pet and follow the associated links to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in NI (DARD NI)
  • The most important point is that the rules are specific to each country and depend on the country you are going to or coming from. This applies to travel within EU countries and travel into EU from an unlisted country. A full list of approved and non-approved countries can be found at –
  • From 29th December 2014 the rules of the PETS Travel Scheme have recently changed so please make sure your plans meet the new protocols for the scheme.
  • DON’T DELAY – find out the rules in plenty of time before you travel
  • You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for the country you may be going to and for re-entering NI or UK. Make sure you know what needs to be done before you leave for a holiday and also what procedures may need to be carried out in the days before leaving to come back home again – this may involve sourcing a vet local to where you may be staying.
  • Make sure the procedures have been carried out in the correct order and all documentation is correctly completed.
  • Failures to comply with the rules of the scheme will result in quarantine and will mean delays and sometimes considerable costs.
  • Some non EU countries require testing for disease some months prior to export or import so please enquire as far in advance as possible.
  • Be aware – should vaccinations be required you may still not be able to travel immediately and there may be a waiting period.
  • You MUST always enquire with the ferry or airline operator as to what specific requirements they have with regards to travel. Often your pet will need a health certificate from your vet within a certain time period before travel to certify that your pet is healthy and fit for transport. Each ferry operator or airline may have different requirements which may change from time to time. Always enquire when travel is planned.
Travelling within the EU, or into the EU from another ‘listed’ country.

When travelling to or returning to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country, your pet needs:

  • a microchip
  • a rabies vaccination (make sure your pet is microchipped first or the
  • vaccination won’t count)
  • a pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate
  • tapeworm treatment (for dogs only)

You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling.

Travelling into the EU from an ‘unlisted’ country

An ‘unlisted’ country is any country not included in the list of EU and non-EU countries.

Department Of Agriculture & Rural Development Travelling With Pets Overview EU & Non EU

When travelling to or returning to the UK from an unlisted country, your pet needs:

  • a microchip
  • a rabies vaccination (make sure your pet is microchipped first or the vaccination won’t count)
  • a blood test – the vet must take the blood sample at least 30 days after
  • the rabies vaccination (the date of vaccination counts as day 0, not day 1)
  • an official third country veterinary certificate
  • tapeworm treatment(for dogs only)

You must wait 3 calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling. The vet must give you a copy of the test results. These must show that the vaccination was successful.

You don’t have to wait 3 months if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING – Isle of Man and Channel Islands

There are no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and either the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Owners of pets entering the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland from outside the UK should contact the appropriate authorities in those countries for advice on approved routes and any other requirements.

Travelling to a NON-EU country from UK

ALL animals going to a Non-EU country also required an export health certificate which must be applied for through DARD NI. Contact the trade branch of DARD NI on 028 9052 4622

Travelling from Republic of Ireland to GB

This route of travel is still travel between two EU countries and the legislation still remains the same as it does from travel from an EU country into UK. Should you leave NI and travel by ferry from the Republic of Ireland to the UK the following rules do exist.

The requirements are that your animal must be microchipped, must have a PETS Passport and must have been vaccinated against rabies. Travel still must not take place for 21 days post rabies vaccination.

Travel from NI to GB

If however, you leave from a port in NI and travel to GB (ie England, Scotland or Wales) you are effectively travelling within the UK and your pet does not need a rabies vaccination. We still recommend you check with the ferry operator or airline to ensure they do not have any specific requirements with regards to a health certificate.


Should you be unclear about any of the information above we advise you contact DARD. They will be happy to advise you on the requirements for each country you may be travelling to or from and can help you with all applications for passports or export certificates.
Tel – 028 90524622

How to apply for a PETS Passport?

Passports are not available from the clinic, an application must be made to DARD who will then issue the passport and forward it by post to us at Hollygate. We can then contact you to organise its completion. Applications may take 1-2 weeks so please allow enough time.

Click to make an application for a PETS Passport

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Saturday: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Sunday: – Closed

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