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Travelling to the EU

Travelling into the European Union with your pet dog, cat or ferret

Please, download and complete the AHC checklist form as soon as possible, and email it to us at or drop it off at Barton Lodge. We will not be able to proceed to issuing the AHC until we have received the form properly completed at least 7 days in advance to your appointment.

Download the AHC Checklist form

The rules of pet travel into the European Union have changed and your pet may no longer travel into the EU with a GB issued pet passport (Pet passport that was issued within Great Britain).

Please use the pet travel helpline/APHA to ensure you understand your responsibilities as these vary by destination:

Pet Travel helpline
Telephone: 0370 241 1710
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)

Your pet needs to be microchipped and have had a rabies vaccination done prior to travel into the EU. If your pet(s) is/are having their initial rabies vaccination, they will have to wait 21 days from the date of rabies vaccination (with day of vaccination counting as day 0) before the certificate can be certified and they can leave the UK and enter the EU.

Tapeworm treatment is required when travelling from Great Britain to EU listed tapeworm free countries including Northern Ireland, Malta, Republic of Ireland, Norway and Finland. These dogs must be treated for tapeworm not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before time of entry into one of these countries. This will be completed on the animal health certificate.

Before returning to GB, dogs must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis by a veterinarian (who may or not be an Official Veterinarian) who is registered with the veterinary professional body in the country in which the treatment is administered. Pets travelling directly to GB from Northern Ireland, Finland, Ireland, Malta, or Norway are exempt from this treatment. The treatment must be carried out not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before the pet is landed.

Dogs leaving GB for a short trip (less than five days) to the EU will likely need to have this treatment administered prior to departure from GB. Pet owners should be reminded that they must wait for 24 hours after the dog receives the treatment before re-entering GB and must return within 120 hours of the treatment time or the dog will be required to get another treatment in the EU. Please note that Northern Ireland is included in the EU. It is advisable that dogs receive a follow up treatment 28 days after they are back in GB.

If you are not travelling with your pet(s): If you are travelling by plane you must show evidence of your ticket to confirm the travel date being within 5 days of your pets. If you are driving, a declaration must be signed stating that you will be reunited within 5 days. Your exact address must be provided.

You must travel within ten days of the paperwork (Animal Health Certificate - AHC) being authorised.

The paperwork is valid for 4 months of onward travel within the EU and can be used to return to the UK within 4 months of issue.

There are two types of health documents that are used for travel within the EU:

Animal Health Certificates (AHCs)

  1. These are used when you are travelling with your pet on the same day or when you are travelling within 5 days of your pet.
  2. Only one species per certificate so if you have a dog and a cat travelling with you, you will need two certificates

Export Health Certificates (EHCs)

  1. These are used when you are travelling with more than 5 pets and/or
  2. You are travelling outside of 5 days of your pet

Document signature by the owner or person moving the animal: If the person travelling with the animal is unable to come to the surgery to sign the required documents that are part of the Animal Health Certificate (AHC), this can easily be done electronically with Adobe Acrobat Reader or DocuSign, to name just a couple. However, in that case, we cannot guarantee the validity of electronically signed documents and, therefore, we cannot accept any liability if the AHC is not accepted to move your pet(s) to the EU. The AHC guidance notes estate that pets must enter the EU via a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). If it is not possible for the owner and/or the transporter to be physically present and sign (wet sign) the declaration, the owner should confirm with the TPE what the TPE will accept, e.g., electronic signature, etc.

Please ensure ALL questions are completed and that the information given to us is correct. Without this information, we may not be able to assist you.

* The information in this document is only a highlight of the official information for the movement of pets to the EU and, as this may change from time to time, it is the pet owner’s responsibility to read and understand the official documentation available at GOV.UK that always takes precedence over our highlighted notes.