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Advice for travelling with pets outside Europe

Traveling beyond the EU is now required for your pet to carry the Export Health Certificate (EHC). Additionally, you will need to fill out an export application form If you live located in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales). This is applicable to all species.

You’ll need to choose an official veterinarian for which the export certificate will be given. It could take as long as two weeks for the forms to arrive, which is why we recommend beginning as early as you can. Different countries have different requirements regarding vaccinations for your pet as well as parasite treatments and tests. This EHC along with the Export Application Form will contain more information on the specific destination country that you have chosen.

Identification of pets and vaccination

Your pet should have an individual identification to be able to travel outside of the EU. This could be the form of a microchip, closed ring, or tattoo. Your pet could need specific vaccinations in addition to the routine vaccinations. For instance, they may require the rabies vaccine. For more details on thesevaccinations, visit our travel in Europe and Northern Ireland page. EU or NI page.

Your pet might also require the test of rabies antibodies (a testing of blood) prior to traveling out from the EU. The test should be performed at least 30 days following the vaccination for rabies. If the results are within the acceptable limit the pet is able to travel 120 days after. If the score is not sufficient the pet will require the booster rabies vaccine and another test after 30 days. Therefore, we recommend planning your pet’s trip at minimum 6 months ahead of your planned travel date.

Exporting your pet bird

Birds that travel beyond the EU are often required to go through a 21-day isolation period prior to traveling. This includes the examination of an Official Veterinarian on the first day to confirm the isolation capabilities and a follow-up examination prior to departure. You must allow at least 1 month between applying and traveling in all cases. Birds might also require cloacal swabs or tests for blood to verify that they are not suffering from Avian Influenza. The tests are required to be conducted by specific labs, at specific times during the time frame of isolation. Additional details will be provided in the EHC that is received by the Veterinarian in charge.

All birds need the Export Health Certificate, whether traveling within or out of the EU. It is not feasible that birds travel in the EU without the Animal Health Certificate.

Some countries will not allow your pet!

Certain countries are not able to accept imports of certain species regardless of the reason for travel. If you are in this situation for your pet, you are accountable for arranging a suitable alternative with your furry friend. If you’re planning to move and your pet is not able to travel with you, you should make sure that a permanent solution is achieved prior to your departure. There’s often an unending waiting list for centers for rehoming, which is often months long. Don’t fall for believing that this is an instant decision. The planning should begin early!

Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to comply with the rules of your country of destination within the specified timeframe. Pets can be shipped abroad and transported within a couple of weeks, but the process for certain countries could last for a full year. Check the requirements for your desired destination by contacting the relevant authorities in the country.