Animal Health Certificates

Taking your pet to Europe

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the process of taking your pet with you abroad to Europe has become a little more complicated now that British Pet Passports are no longer valid.

Every time you travel to EU countries with your pet(s) you must first obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV).

Your pet must have a working microchip as identification.

Your pet also requires a valid rabies vaccination (which if given in the UK lasts for three years). If your pet has not been vaccinated for Rabies before or a booster dose is overdue, then you must wait 21 days before you can travel. No blood tests are required.

An eleven-page AHC can be completed following an appointment with one of our Official Veterinarains at any of our surgeries. AHCs are valid for entry into Europe for 10 days after their date of issue, so we usually advise making the appointment a few days before travelling as they take a day or two to prepare and check.




In order to complete an AHC our vets will need you to bring a signed record of your pet’s rabies vaccination, either in a Pet Passport or a vaccination certificate. We will need to make a certified copy of this to become part of the travel documents.

An AHC can be valid for up to 5 animals and for travel within the EU for four months prior to return to GB.

AHCs are required for all EU member states plus Norway, and  Northern Ireland.

You will be required to sign an owner declaration on collection of your health certificate stating that the export of your pet is not for commercial trade purposes.

Prior to your appointment, please make sure …

  1. You have a definite departure and arrival date.
  2. You know your point of entry into the EU (eg. Calais, France)
  3. Your pet has been microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies at least 21 days prior to departure.
  4. You have proof of current Rabies vaccination – either a Pet Passport or a vaccination certificate containing the record of your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination with microchip details, a date & the vet’s signature.

If your trip is a particularly short one and you plan to return to the UK between 24 and 120 hours after leaving, then we may be able to administer an approved Echinococcus tapeworm treatment prior to departure. If your stay is longer, you will still need to have this carried out by a vet in the EU 24-120 hours before you return to the UK.