New rules for pet travel


With Brexit meaning there are new rules now in place regarding travelling with pets, the RSPCA is reminding pet owners to check to see whether the new laws will affect their holiday plans.

The UK has Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme and this means that owners need to follow the new set of rules if they want to take their pets to Northern Ireland or countries within the EU.

New travel rules for pets at a glance:

  • Pet passports will no longer be valid for pet owners wishing to travel from England, Scotland, and Wales.
  • If you want to take your cat, dog, or ferret abroad from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or a country within the EU, then you’ll need an animal health certificate from your vet (valid for one journey for up to four months).
  • These certificates will include details of a rabies vaccination (taking 21 days) and if you’re travelling to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, your pet will also need to be treated against Echinococcus.
  •  If you’re travelling from the EU into Great Britain, then you’ll need a pet passport and there will be no changes until 1 July, after when you’ll have to use a designated point of entry.
  •  If you’re travelling from Northern Ireland into the UK, then you won’t need a passport or health certificate (as we’re in the same Customs Union), but you will need one to return.

David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, said: “A lot changed from 1 January, 2021, including changes to travel rules for people and for pets".

“We know a lot of people take their pets abroad to compete in shows and competitions, and others like to include their pet when they go on holiday. It’ll still be possible to do all of these things, but you will need to apply for different certificates and paperwork so we’d always advise owners to take this into account long before departing.” 

For more information about going on holiday with your pet, visit: