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Pet Travel and Animal Health Certificates

Qualifying for travel with your pet into Europe and Ireland has changed after 1st January 2021 and now involves;

  • Implantation of a microchip in order to permanently identify your pet;
  • Vaccination with a Rabies vaccine;   This can only be given to animals over 12 weeks of age. 
  • Completion of an Animal Health Certificate for each trip into Europe issued by a “Small Animal Official Veterinarian” or “SA OV” here at Millcroft.  


All the procedures above can be carried out during a consultation at the surgery but please try to plan ahead. There is a 21 day standstill after a Rabies vaccination during which you cannot travel. The Rabies vaccination used by Millcroft is valid for 3 years and we will create a separate vaccination card just for the Rabies and travelling purposes. 

Issuing the Animal Health Certificate or ‘AHC’  within 10 days of your trip will need to be booked ahead as it can only be issued by our SA OV’s. The AHC will be valid for ongoing movements in Europe and the Schengen countries such as Switzerland/Norway for 4 months and also will be required for your return journey as well to document the tapeworm treatments. For the AHC we will need to know the first European country that you are travelling to as the certificate details need to be duplicated in that language and of course your proposed date of travel.  

  • Before you can return to the UK you will still need to treat your dog for tapeworms (Echinococcus) with an approved tapeworm medication usually ‘Drontal’ or ‘Milbemax’. This treatment needs to be administered by a vet abroad and the time and date recorded in your passport or on the AHC. At the bottom of page 4 of your AHC there is a box to enter these details and treatments. It must be done between 1 and 5 days (or 24 – 120 Hours) before your arrival in the UK and no less than 24 hours to ‘the point of embarkation’.
  • Travel must be via an approved route – most major routes in the UK have the facilities to inspect your Animal Health Certificate and read your microchip.
  • Cats are exempt from tapeworm treatments on return.                                       

Travel direct to both Northern Ireland and Ireland also requires a Rabies vaccination, AHC and tapeworm treatment as the border into Europe has effectively moved to the sea crossing. Tapeworm 1-5 days prior to travel can be combined with your examination for the AHC as well.  Tapeworm treatment is also required for travel direct to Finland, Malta or Norway but is not required when returning direct to the UK from these 5 destinations.


If you have any queries about the PETS scheme or any aspect of travelling abroad with your pet please contact us at the surgery. Whilst we shall endeavour to provide you with the correct advice for your trip it will always remain the responsibility of the exporter to obtain the correct documentation. Always check the .gov website as well.