Pet Travel Scheme & Pet Passports introduction

The Pet Travel Scheme for European Pet Travel

If your cat, dog or ferret is travelling from the UK to another E.U country, then they will need to be issued their very own pet passport under the Pet Travel Scheme!

To qualify for the issue of a Pet Passport your pet must:

1)      Be microchipped

2)      Have a rabies vaccination

3)      Wait 21 days after the rabies vaccination before leaving the UK

Microchipping for the Pet Travel Scheme

Your pets microchip MUST be fitted BEFORE the rabies vaccination. If your pet has the rabies vaccination first and is fitted for a microchip afterward, your pet will NOT qualify.

Your vet must record the microchip number on the pet passport.

Pets which have an Identification Number Tattoo

You don’t need to have your pet microchipped if it’s been tattooed with an identification number and all of the following are true:

  • your pet was tattooed before 3 July 2011
  • the tattoo is clearly legible
  • your pet was vaccinated against rabies after it was tattooed

Your vet must record the date of tattooing, the tattoo number and the date of the rabies vaccination in the pet passport.

Rabies vaccination

You must wait 21 days after the initial rabies vaccination before your pet can leave the UK to travel to another E.U country.

After the first vaccination and waiting period, you can leave enter the UK whenever you want- just be sure to keep up to date with the booster vaccinations.

If your pet is due a booster prior to travel, you do not have to wait 21 days after the booster, as long as all previous boosters have been kept up to date.

How do I get a Pet Passport for my pet?

Your veterinary practice will be able to assist with the Pet Travel Scheme, They can issue you a pet passport and assist with microchipping and the rabies vaccination.

Do I need any other paperwork to travel to countries within the E.U?

Yes, you will always need to take your pet in to the vets for a “Fit to fly” letter, sometimes known as a “General Health Certificate” There is no set format for this, it is simply just a letter from your vet to state that your pet has been examined and is fit to fly.

The letter must be dated and on the vets official paper.

The letter must be issued NO MORE than ten days prior to travel – we always recommend having this issued as close to the departure date as possible.

Certain countries may also require additional import paperwork – please check with us if you are unsure.

Do I need a Pet Passport if my pet is travelling to the USA?

No, you do not need to have a Pet Passport for entry in to the USA, however a Pet Passport can be a good document to have for ease of recording vaccinations.

All that is required for entry in to the USA is a “Fit to fly letter” as mentioned above, no more than ten days prior to travel and for some states, a current rabies vaccination. For more information on pet travel to the USA please get in touch.

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