Animal Health Certificate

Animal Health Certificates

PET Travel Scheme rules from the 1st January 2021

Following the implementation of the new model of Pet Passport from the 29th December 2014, some changes to the PET Travel Scheme rules will apply from 1st January 2021. You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the EU before it leaves the UK and also complies with the rules for entering the UK under the PET Travel Scheme. Further details can be found at the DEFRA website.

We strongly advise you to read these carefully, if any of the details are incorrect or missing your pet will not be allowed to travel.


In order to identify your pet (dog, cat or ferret) it must be fitted with a microchip, before or on the same day as the initial rabies vaccination is carried out.

The microchip number of the animal must be identical to the microchip number on the pet’s documentation.

A tattoo from any country in the world is acceptable providing it has been done at the latest on the 3 July 2011 and is easy to read.

When the vet is completing your pet’s official travel documents, make sure the date of implantation or date of reading of the microchip is the same date as, or before, the rabies vaccination.

EU Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate

From 1st January 2021, the UK will be categorised as a Part 2 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. This means if your pet(s) have an EU Pet Passport, issued in Great Britain, this will no longer be valid for travel to the EU and you will be required to obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

However, if your pet(s) have an EU Pet Passport, issued in Great Britain before 1st January 2021, they will be accepted for entry into the UK.

For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU Pet Passport.

If you are preparing your animal in a non EU Listed or Unlisted Third Country or Territory, you will need to obtain an Official Third Country Veterinary Health Certificate.

Rabies vaccination

Your pet (who must be at least 12 weeks old at time of vaccination) must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement.

The vaccine name and manufacturer, as well as vaccination date, valid from and expiry dates must be recorded in the AHC or EU Pet Passport by a registered vet (signature and stamp or vet details are mandatory) in the relevant boxes in Rabies Section of the EU Pet Passport or AHC.

There is no exemption to this requirement. If you are travelling from EU and listed non-EU countries, the length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the vaccination date (the vaccination date counts as day 0). A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date and recorded in your pet's official documentation. If the vaccination is in two parts, the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.

Travel to/from the EU must take place within the current vaccination validity.

When the vet is completing your pet’s official travel documents (AHC or EU Pet Passport), make sure the date of implantation or date of reading of the microchip is the same date as, or before, the rabies vaccination.


Tapeworm treatment (dogs only)

Your dog must be treated against tapeworm before travelling to the UK.

Treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before the dog's scheduled arrival time in the UK. Treatment date and time must be recorded by the vet in the pet’s documentation.

Short trips

If you’re leaving Great Britain for a short trip, your dog must be treated by a vet before you go. You must wait for 24 hours before re-entering Great Britain and return within 120 hours or you’ll need to get another treatment abroad. You should treat your dog again within 28 days of returning to Great Britain.

Please note if the tapeworm treatment is not administered in time or correctly documented by a vet, it will result in your pet being refused travel.

Tapeworm treatment must:

  • Be administrated by a vet
  • Must contain Praziquantel to be effective against Echinococcus tapeworm


The following products : Stronghold, Advocate, Frontline or Frontline Combo, Nexgard or Nexgard Spectra will not be accepted and will result in the animal being refused travel.

Blood test (not required)

Blood test is no longer required if you are entering the UK from EU and listed non-EU countries.

If entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries a blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination and the length of the waiting period before allowing a dog, cat, ferret to travel is three calendar months from the date your vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result from an approved laboratory.

For the most up-to-date information please visit the DEFRA website.




How do I get an animal health certificate?

You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate. You need to do this no more than 10 days before you travel. The certificate needs to be signed by an official veterinarian. You will also need to sign the form at the time of collection.

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

  • 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 4 months for onward travel within the EU
  • 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain

Your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain. For more information visit Defra’s website:


Issues with Animal Health Certificates


The biggest issue with AHC’s is the microchip. Old style UK or EU passports are one of the best ways to ensure the correct microchip information is available. Other than the passport the microchip registration form which can be obtained from the chip database is acceptable or a vaccination record signed and stamped by a vet stating that the microchip was read before the rabies vaccination was given. A vaccination card with just the chip number written on is NOT acceptable as proof of chipping prior to vaccination. A pro forma vaccination form is available at the bottom of this page. This can be signed by a vet to say the chip was read at the time the vaccination was given and stamped with a practice stamp.

An AHC must be completed by a Vet who is an ‘OV’ (Official Veterinarian) registered by DEFRA – please note not all vets are OV’s so make sure you have plenty of time to organise your visit and be flexible.

We try to partially complete the forms before your appointment as they are very time consuming and can take up to an hour to complete with 5 animals (and not much less with only one). We ask you to complete the pre appointment form and send it to us well in advance of your visit so we can pre-populate the microchip and vaccine sections of the form and have it in the correct language. If we do not receive the form then unfortunately we will not be able to complete the form on the day and it will incur a 100% increase in cost. We also require good copies / photographs / scans of the vaccination form and microchip information. These should be easy to read and print so the large file format from mobile phone photographs are reuired if you send them in that format.

Cost of an AHC is currently (15/05/2022) £87.50 for one pet with an additional £27.50 for each extra pet added up to a maximum of 5 in total.

Please ensure you bring all original documents with you for the AHC appointment as these need to be checked and/or photocopied and validated by the vet and attached to the AHC.

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