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Before taking your dog, cat or ferret to the EU for the first time after 1 January 2021, owners must complete a number of steps:

1)   Ensure your dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.

2)   Ensure that your dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.

3)   Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel 

4)   Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before landing,if they are travelling to a tapeworm free country.

5)  Visit your vet to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.

Pets and assistance dogs will also need to enter the EU through a travellers’ point of entry (TPE), which includes all of the major French ports such as Calais, Caen and Dunkirk. 

All of these requirements will also apply for movements of pets and assistance dogs from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The UK Government is working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on an enforcement approach that takes this challenge into account. This approach will be implemented in a way that supports pet owners and assistance dog users while the Government pursues a permanent solution.  

There has been no change to the current health preparations or documents for pets entering Great Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland from 1st January 2021.

Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, added: “We have been granted ‘Part 2’ listed third country status by the EU which will ensure that travelling with your pet continues from 1st January onwards. 

“Your vet will be able to advise what you need to do in order to obtain the correct documentation to travel and you can find the latest pet travel advice on or by searching ‘pet travel’.”

Updated guidance on pet travel has been available since November 2018, ensuring that owners will be ready for any future scenario, so many pet owners will already be familiar with that they need to do.

The UK government is continuing to press the European Commission to secure Part 1 listed status. The UK has one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe and currently meets all the requirements for Part 1 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. 

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