It now couldn't be simpler to take your pet abroad. A pet passport is valid three weeks following vaccination for Rabies subject to conditions itemised below. Some restrictions apply to the breed of dogs* you can take abroad, the countries your pet can visit* and the ports of embarkation and re-entry* that you can use. The pet passport scheme covers the EEC and most other European countries, North America, Australia and most island nations, and allows you to use most large British ports and airports*.
How do I obtain a first passport for my pet and how soon can I
First of all your pet must have an identity chip inserted then a vaccination against rabies. A passport can be issued following the rabies vaccine and your pet can leave and return to the UK 3 weeks following the vaccination, subject to conditions relevant to the countries you are visiting. Puppies and kittens must be at least 12 weeks old before they can vaccinated and at least 2 weeks should have elapsed following any other vaccinations. This means that the youngest age at which they can possibly travel is 15 weeks. Passports can only be issued by a government licenced vet. Veterinary Surgeon Martin Atkinson is licenced for this purpose.
How long is the passport valid?
The length of validity of a passport varies according to the rabies vaccine used and the country of issue. As we use a three year rabies vaccine all passports currently issued by us will be valid from the start date until three years following the rabies vaccine. Boosters must be given on time to maintain validity. However, some countries may impose their own restrictions on duration of validity so you should check this before you travel*. If you intend to stay in another country for an extended period (typically greater than 3 months) your pet may deemed to be resident and become subject to the regulations of that country and more frequent rabies vaccines may be necessary*.
Is there anything else I need to do to leave or re-enter the
The pet passport is all you need to leave the UK with your dog or cat to travel to the EEC and most other European countries but in order to re-enter the UK they must be treated for tapeworm with an authorised product by a government licenced vet 1-5 days before you return. Most non-European countries impose additional entry requirements and you should check with them or DEFRA* before you leave. Even if additional health certificates are not an entry requirement for countries you intend to visit, they may be required to travel by air or by a shipping agent. Although treatment against tapeworm is all that is currently obligatory to return to the UK, dogs and cats are at risk from certain potentially fatal exotic diseases that are prevalent abroad. This applies to most of southern Europe, especially Mediterranean countries and it is advisable therefore to treat your pet against ticks, sandflies and mosquitoes before and during travel if your are visiting these areas. Click on the link to learn more about exotic diseases, their vectors and prevention protocols.
How much does a passport cost?
The costs include the microchip (if not already inserted), a rabies vaccine and an administration charge for the issue of the passport. A fee will also be charged for subsequent rabies boosters and for updating the passport. These charges vary from time to time so please call the clinic for current fees. There may be some additional fees for procedures necessary to satisfy entry requirements for certain countries such as blood tests and additional certification, and these can be considerable.
* Further information is available from the APHA Centre for International Trade by visiting their website at:
https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview or calling 03000200301
For further information relating to certain breeds of dogs that are not allowed into France follow this link:
The contents of this page relates only to travelling with a dog or cat on a pet passport based on our understanding of current regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure that this information is correct and that you are able to comply with regulations related to the export or import of animals and we can take no responsibility for any issues related to travelling with your pets based on this information.We suggest that you check with DEFRA and the representatives of the countries to which you intend to travel that this information is correct and up to date and that no other restrictions apply.
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