Pet Travel

Holmer Veterinary Surgery Advice Leaflet

PETs passport update January 2020

As of January 2012 the requirements for pets travelling to EU, and non EU listed countries, have simply been:

  • The animal must be microchipped.
  • A rabies vaccination must be administered, the pet being a minimum of 12 weeks of age.
  • The pet can travel 21 days after the vaccination.
  • The pet must be examined by a veterinarian 1-5 days before returning to the UK with dogs requiring the administration of a wormer by the veterinarian.

We have been advised by The APHA (Animal and Plant Agency) that, during the Brexit transition period from 31st January 2020 until the 31st December 2020, the requirements for pets travelling with a PETs passport will remain unchanged.

pet passport

After the 31st December 2020 any changes to pet travel requirements to current PET countries will be determined by the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK would become a third country for the purposes of EU pet travel and the government has outlined the following potential scenarios:

  1. We could become one of a small number of countries termed Part 1 listed who are able to operate under the same EU Pet Travel Scheme rules as EU member states. This would mean that the PETs passport requirements would remain the same or with minor changes.
  2. Like the majority of third countries the UK could become part 2 listed. The preparation for travel would mean the pet would still require the microchip, rabies vaccination and 21 day wait before travel. Pets would then need to visit their OV (official veterinarian) within 10 days of travel to be issued a health certificate, confirming the animal is appropriately identified and has up-to-date rabies vaccination, this would be used instead of the current PET passport. A new certificate is required for each trip to the EU. The certificate would be valid for 10 days for entry into the EU and 4 months for onward travel within the EU. On arrival in the EU pet owners travelling with their pet are required to report to the Travellers Point of Entry.
  3. The UK becomes an unlisted country
    • Pets are microchipped
    • Rabies vaccination is given
    • 30 days, or more, after the rabies vaccination a blood sample is taken to check there has been an adequate response to the vaccination. If a pet has previously had a rabies vaccination, which is up to date, but no previous blood test they still require a blood test to ensure adequate antibody levels. If the antibody level is inadequate these pets will need revaccination with rabies and a blood test 30 days later. Please note that it has been determined that 30 days post vaccine is optimal to detect an appropriate antibody level, when blood samples are taken over 30 days after rabies vaccination the risk of the antibody levels being suboptimal increases. If your pet has been previously vaccinated we recommend you consider revaccinating before your pet undergoes the blood test. If a dog has been travelling on a passport where a blood test was taken less than 30 days this will no longer be valid and a new rabies blood test must be performed at least 30 days after a vaccination.
    • 3 months after the date of a blood sampling, where results show an adequate response to the vaccine, the pet can then travel to the EU. For pets travelling from the EU to the UK there is no requirement for a 3 month wait after a satisfactory rabies antibody test.
    • The pet must be examined by an OV within 10 days of travel to the EU for a health certificate to be issued. A new certificate is required for each journey.
    • On arrival into the EU pet owners travelling with their pets are required to report to a designated Travellers Point of Entry (, where they must present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and blood test results alongside the health certificate.
    • The lifespan of the rabies vaccination we use is 3 years, as long as the booster vaccinations are kept up to date then no further rabies blood tests are required. If the due date of the rabies vaccination is missed then another blood test and subsequent 3 month wait before travel will be required.
Dog in carrier

We advise all owners, planning to travel with their pets, check on requirements several months before they plan to travel.

We continue to advise that you research specific requirements for exportation to your chosen destination. This is particularly important when travelling to non-EU listed countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where strict export requirements must be met. We recommend you visit the DEFRA website for further details on requirements for your chosen destination, you may also need to contact the local embassy.

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