Travelling pets & Pricing

How much does an Animal Health Certificate cost?

Paw imageAn Animal Health Certificate costs £130.00 (This is the consultation and includes reviewing and finalising all your documents. Any vaccinations or medications required in addition will incur additional charges). A microchip is £14.00 and will only need to be implanted once. A Rabies vaccination costs £40.00 – this will need to be repeated every three years to allow continual travel under the Pet Travel Scheme.

An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). We are authorised by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to issue an AHC. An appointment must be arranged in advance by contacting us. We will discuss with you how to comply with all legal requirements so that you can reach your destination, avoiding issues such as quarantine.

The European Commission has classed Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man as what is known as a Part 2 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. This takes effect on 1 January 2021 and applies to all pets travelling from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland.

The largest change for UK pet owners will be that they can no longer use EU pet passports issued in Great Britain to travel to EU countries or Northern Ireland after 31st December 2020. However, if you currently hold an EU pet passport issued in a European country (not the UK) and are currently in the UK, this passport is valid for you to return to the EU as long as your pet has a valid (in date) rabies vaccination. A UK issued passport will be valid for returning to the UK up to its expiry date.

Travel to the EU after 1st January 2021

Traveling dog

When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your cat, dog or ferret needs:

  • a microchip
  • a tapeworm treatment(if required)
    Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24 to 120 hours (one to five days) before landing, if they are travelling to EU-listed tapeworm free countries (Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta).
  • a valid rabies vaccination
    Your pet (dog, cat or ferret) must be at least 12 weeks old for this vaccination. If you are taking your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland, you must wait 21 days after the primary rabies vaccination before you travel so bear this in mind when you are planning your travel.

Your pet will need to have been vaccinated at least three weeks prior to the AHC appointment and have a UK Rabies vaccine within the past three years.

You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they’ll need to be vaccinated again.

  • An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

These requirements also apply to assistance dogs.

What else do I need to know?

  1. An AHC is now required to travel to Northern Ireland. Previously there was no requirement for a pet passport when travelling to Northern Ireland – this changes from the 1st January 2021.
  2. There is no requirement for a blood test after the rabies vaccination. However, the fact that you need an AHC for each trip means that it’s essential that you keep your rabies vaccinations up to date. Should your rabies vaccination lapse, you will need to re-start and wait 21 days for the AHC.
  3. You cannot take more than 5 pets to an EU country or NI unless you’re attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event. You’ll need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.
  4. Pet owners are advised to prepare at least one month in advance of when they want to travel with their pet.

An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is valid for 10 days after its date of issue for entry into the EU. It will certify that your pet is healthy to travel and does not have any transmissible diseases.

You will be able to continue using an UK pet passport for return into the UK, provided it is still valid, or use your AHC.

Once you have entered the EU or Northern Ireland, the AHC is then valid for four months (after the date of issue), permitting travel between other EU countries (not the UK) during the same trip. It is then permitted for entry back into the UK.

Please be aware that you will need a new AHC each time you visit the EU.

For information on pet travel and a specific requirement, please see the government website under the Pet Travel Scheme.

We strongly advise that you research the potential parasite and disease threats in the country you are travelling to, to ensure your pets are protected. For most countries, tick cover would be strongly recommended as they carry several significant diseases; in southern Europe, dogs should also have sandfly protection to reduce the risk of heartworm and Leishmaniasis.

Return from the EU

Cat in briefcase

There’ll be no significant changes to the existing process of entering Great Britain from the EU. However, please remember that you are required to visit a vet (in your destination country) for tapeworm treatment before returning back to the UK.

When you do arrive back in GB with your pet, you’ll need to present one of the following documents:

  • An EU pet passport (issued in the EU from countries known as Part 1 listed countries) or UK pet passport issued before 1st January 2021.
  • The Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued in Great Britain – valid up to four months after it was issued
  • A Great Britain Pet Health Certificate (for travel into the UK only) from the countries (known as Part 2 or some part 1 listed countries or countries that are not listed)
  • Dogs must also be treated for tapeworm by a vet. The treatment must be approved for use in the country that it’s administered in and must be given no less than 24 hours and no more than five days before entering the UK. Your dog can be refused entry or put into quarantine if you do not follow this rule.

You do NOT need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to Great Britain from Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta or Norway. Specific rules apply for short trips, which include treatment before you travel.

  • If your country is not’ listed’ your pet will have to follow specific rules on rabies vaccination and blood tests. The UK Government is advising pet owners to visit a vet at least four months before their travel date to prepare.
  • If you acquire a pet from abroad you must know that no pet can enter the UK unless they are 15 weeks old (at least 12 weeks old when vaccinated against Rabies and 21-days wait).

Your pet will NOT need this documentation if it’s entering Great Britain from:

  • Northern Ireland (NI)
    If travelling from NI to GB and not returning to NI, with your pet, there are no documentary or health preparations, however there is a legal requirement that dogs are microchipped at 8 weeks old.
  • the Channel Island
  • the Isle of Man

For information on pet travel and a specific requirement, please see the government website under the Pet Travel Scheme.

Specific requirements for individual countries can be found by contacting the Animal Plant and Health Agency on 0370 241 1710.

Failure to meet regulations could result in your pet being quarantined on returning to the UK for up to 4 months. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.

Need more advice? Give us a call and we will be happy to help with any questions you may have about travelling with your pet.