In the past 11 months, since Brexit, we have successfully issued multiple AHCs (Animal Health Certificates) for owners travelling with their pet dogs, cats and/or ferrets to Europe. New official guidance for issuing AHCs has recently been issued. The main requirements of the pet being microchipped and rabies vaccinated, at least 21 days before an AHC can be issued, has remained the same. The certificate must still be issued within 10 days of the pet travelling and is valid for up to 4 months for onward travel through Europe and return to the UK. An AHC is valid for single journey into, around and back from Europe. When a pet/s is/are not accompanied by the owner but are travelling within 5 days of them, new guidance states that the declaration, confirming that the movement is not commercial, must be signed by the individual travelling/transporting the pet. The owner can only sign the declaration if they are travelling with their pet. In addition to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta and Finland, Norway has been added to the list of countries requiring vet administered and certified worming treatment 1-5 days (not less than 24hrs) before travel , this can be performed on the day of issuing the AHC or performed a few days later.
Feedback from clients who have already travelled with their pet on an AHC has identified issues returning to the UK via air. Only certain airports will receive pets on a limited number of flights, in addition the pet/s must travel as cargo which is a costly procedure. Owners returning to the UK via Eurotunnel or ferry appear to have done so smoothly. It is imperative that owners looking to travel to the EU with their pet do their research before travelling. Please do not hesitate to contact the surgery for advice on travelling with your pet to Europe.