Information for the Veterinary Practitioner

How to prepare a pet for an EU Pet Passport

1. Identification – Insertion of Micro-Chip

Having the pet correctly identified is the fundamental key to the pet passport system. Pets must be micro-chipped – no other form of identification is acceptable. The micro-chip used should comply with ISO standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785 – otherwise the pet owner will have to carry their own scanner. We strongly advise that you check that the micro-chip is functioning correctly before and after implantation.

2. Completion of Application Form

Having micro-chipped the pet, you should now complete the application form included in the owner’s passport pack. It is absolutely vital that you print the identification number correctly and clearly – any error made will only be discovered when the owner is travelling into Ireland with their pet and entry will be refused or six months quarantine will apply at the owner’s expense. Return details for the completed application form are printed on the form.

If the owner wishes a photograph of the pet to be included in the passport (optional) this photograph (maximum 6 cm. wide and 4 cm. long) should be attached to the application form.

3. Vaccination of the pet against rabies

The pet should now be 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.

4. Rabies Antibody Blood Test

Once a suitable interval has passed you should take blood from the pet to confirm a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml. The rabies vaccine manufacturer advises in its datasheet as to the best time for a blood sample to be taken after vaccination.

The test must be carried out in a laboratory approved by the EU for this purpose Click here to see the list of approved laboratories. 

If a pet fails the blood test, it will have to be revaccinated and blood-tested again. Vaccine manufacturers have advised that a proportion of vaccinated animals may not show the 0.5 IU/ml antibody titre required.

A test to check rabies antibody levels may not be required where the pet will not be returned to Ireland – owner should consult this Department.

5. Completion of Passport

The passport will be sent directly to you with certain details, eg. pet’s micro-chip identification, owner’s name & address, already completed. You should now enter:

  • At Section IV – Vaccination against Rabies

In the first box, the details of the manufacturer, the name of the vaccine and the batch number.

In the second box, at 1. the vaccination date, and at 2. the date until which the vaccination is valid according to the manufacturer’s product datasheet.

In the third box your signature and stamp (stamp should be positioned centrally in the relevant box).

  • At Section V – Rabies Serological Test

Where the rabies neutralising antibody titre was equal to or greater than 0.5IU/ml, the date the blood sample was taken, your name in block capitals, the date, your signature and stamp in the box provided.

Please remember that these details will be examined at the pre-entry check. It is very important to take care to enter details clearly, legibly and accurately.

6. Preparation Complete

You can now give the completed pet passport to the owner. They will be able to use it to travel into Ireland with their pet once at least six months has expired since the date of the successful serological test, subject to having an appropriate entry made in the passport for tick and tapeworm treatment on the return journey.

You should remind the owner to keep the rabies vaccinations up to date – if the pet is re-vaccinated each time before the expiry of the previous vaccination’s validity the rabies serological test need never be done again. However if there is any break in vaccination the serological test must be repeated following administration of a booster vaccination.