Pet Travel Changes

The European Union (EU) Pet Travel Scheme began in 2004 as a means of protecting animal and human health from rabies and other exotic diseases while allowing for the movement of animals.

The UK harmonised their regulations with the EU rules in 2012 which allowed easier pet travel for dog owners. The current requirements are listed here:

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have announced changes to the Pet Travel Scheme which will come into effect on 29th December 2014.

The current requirements will remain the same but there will be a number of changes which you will need to be aware of if you are planning to travel abroad with your dog:

  • Each Member State will be required to lay down a minimum qualification for all individuals implanting microchips. This will be important when you are looking for an appropriate person to microchip your pets.
  • There will be a minimum age of 12 weeks for rabies vaccination.
  • A new passport will be introduced that will make it harder for falsifying documents and helping with aid enforcement.  Any passport issued prior to 29 December 2014 will remain valid for the remainder of the pet's life.
  • A new third country certificate will be introduced and will include details of issuing vet and additional details on rabies vaccination.

There are other changes being introduced that will affect you less directly, but are still important to be aware of:

  • A new requirement for vets to keep the pet passport information for at least three years.
  • A requirement for all EU Member States to conduct checks on travel within the EU.
  • A certificate will no longer be required where more than five pets aged over six months are travelling with their owner to attend a sporting event or show.
  • Tighter definition of 'non-commercial movement' which will require the owner or authorised person to travel within five days of the pet.

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