How to travel into Ireland with your pet dog or cat

(except from the UK) Conditions of Travel

Under the EU pet passport system it is possible to bring accompanied pet dogs and cats into Ireland without the need for quarantine from a range of countries deemed low risk for rabies provided that certain conditions are met.

To be able to travel into Ireland with your pet you must be in a position to answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions:

1. Are you travelling directly from an eligible country?

Click here for a list of the qualifying countries

If you are travelling from a country, which is not eligible for the passport system your pet must undergo six months quarantine in Ireland. You should contact this Department to arrange an import licence.

2. Are you travelling with an approved carrier?

Click here for a list of approved carriers

Click here for information about unapproved carriers

3. Is your pet over three months old?

The system does not apply to pets under the age of three months.

4. Will your pet be accompanied?

The system does not apply to pets travelling unaccompanied. Pets travelling under this system must be accompanied either by the owner or by a person responsible for the pet on behalf of the owner.

5. Has your pet been micro-chipped?

All pets must be identified by means of a micro-chip. No other form of identification is acceptable. The micro-chip should comply with ISO standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785 – if this is not the case you must carry your own scanner.

6. Has your pet, following micro-chipping, been vaccinated against rabies?

Subsequent to micro-chipping, your pet must have been vaccinated against rabies with an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose (WHO standard) in a manner in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This vaccination must have been carried out in an eligible country.

7. Has your pet been successfully blood-tested?

Subsequent to the first rabies vaccination (usually about a month later but your veterinarian will advise) your pet must be blood tested to confirm a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml. The test must be carried out in a laboratory approved for this purpose – Click here for a list of approved laboratories. If you keep your rabies vaccinations up to date you will only have to do this blood-test once. However if there is any break in vaccination the test must be repeated. Blood sampling must have been carried out in an eligible country.

8. Have you a passport/certificate completed by a veterinarian certifying to identification (section III), vaccination (section IV) and blood-test (section V)?

If you are travelling from a European Union country, you must have an EU passport for your pet, fully completed, signed and stamped by a registered veterinarian. If you are travelling from an eligible country outside of the European Union you must have the ‘Veterinary Certificate for Domestic Dogs, Cats and Ferrets entering the European Community’. This Veterinary Certificate is available from your own Competent Authority or from the European Union website. However if you are travelling from a Non-EU European country/territory it may be possible to use the EU passport instead of the certificate. For details please phone the help-line, details below. 

9. Has at least six months expired since a successful blood-test?

10. Has your pet been only in an eligible country during this six months?

Your pet may enter Ireland only when at least six months has expired since a successful blood-test. This provision is to ensure that your pet is not incubating rabies.

If your pet has had a break in its vaccinations and has had to repeat the blood-test, six months must pass from the date of the most recent test before your pet can enter Ireland.

If your pet has spent any time in a country that is ineligible for this system, please consult us (contact details below) about the conditions that will apply.

11. Has your pet been treated for tick and tapeworm between 24 and 48 hours before check-in at ferry terminal or airport?

Between 24 and 48 hours before you check-in for travel you must bring your pet to a registered veterinarian to be treated against tick and tapeworm. This is to prevent a risk of potentially serious disease entering Ireland. The tick treatment must be other than by a collar impregnated with acaricide. The tapeworm (echinococcus multilocularis) treatment must contain praziquantal as an active ingredient.

The veterinarian must complete the relevant sections of the passport/certificate, i.e section VI (tick) and section VII (echinococcus), noting down the time of treatment as well as the date.

If you are able to answer ‘yes’ to all eleven questions above, your pet may enter Ireland without undergoing quarantine.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL

  • Make sure your vet checks that the micro-chip can be successfully scanned following implantation.
  • Make sure that all entries by your vet in the passport/certificate are legible and are properly signed, dated and stamped, and, in the case of tick/tapeworm treatment, that a time of treatment is entered. This document will be checked by transport company personnel, and any entry that is not clear may lead to delay or to a refusal to allow your pet entry into Ireland.
  • Use the check list at the bottom of this page.
  • Talk to your ferry company or airline about their requirements.
  • If you are uncertain about any aspect, use our help-line or the e-mail facility to clarify matters.

FAILURES

Your pet’s identification and all of the passport/certificate details will be checked by your carrier. In the case of ferry travel, these checks will take place in France, before embarkation. Airlines will do their checks at destination in the Irish airport.

The checks carried out by the carrier must establish that your pet complies with all of the conditions of the pet passport system before your pet is allowed entry into Ireland without quarantine. The carrier is carrying out checks on behalf of the Irish Government and the staff have no discretion or room for manoeuvre whatsoever where any of the entry conditions are not met.

Please remember that preparing your pet correctly and meeting all of the conditions is your responsibility – no one else’s.

If your pet fails the check you will be informed of the reason for the failure.

If you were due to travel on a ferry your pet will not be allowed to sail until such time as it can comply with the conditions. However, in certain circumstances, where this can be arranged, your pet may be allowed to sail with immediate transfer to detention in Ireland. Your pet will then be held in detention for up to 72 hours approximately either until such time as it complies with the conditions (eg. tick & tapeworm treatment administered) or until it is clear that it will not be possible to solve the problem in the short-term. In this case your pet will be transferred to public quarantine or returned to its country of origin.

If you have travelled by air, your pet will be transferred into short-term detention (up to 72 hours approximately) until such time as it complies with the conditions or until it is clear that it will not be possible to solve the problem in the short-term, at which time your pet will be transferred to public quarantine or returned to its country of origin.

All costs associated with transfer, detention and quarantine must be met by the owner/accompanying person.