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What is an Animal Health Certificate and where do I get one?

What is an Animal Health Certificate and where do I get one?

If you want to take your pet dog or cat from Great Britain to any EU country and Northern Ireland you will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

Animal Health Certificates are issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). Not all vets are Official Veterinarians. So your first task is to find out whether your usual vet practice can issue an Animal Health Certificate, or not.  If they cannot issue the certificate, ask them to recommend an Official Veterinarian in your area.

Before applying for an AHC your pet must be

  • microchipped
  • vaccinated against Rabies
  • A minimum of 21 days must elapse between the Rabies jab and completion of the AHC, and
  • The Animal Health Certificate must be signed by the Official Veterinarian within 10 days of travel

When you take your pet to an Official Veterinarian you must show the vet proof of microchipping and the pet's vaccination history.   This will include tapeworm treatment if required. Remember that your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before s/he can have a Rabies vaccination.

You will need to pay for the Rabies jab, microchipping (if not already done), required worming treatment, and the Animal Health Certificate.  The cost of a Rabies jab is approximately £70 and vets are charging around £110 for the AHC according to the Royal Veterinary College (2022).

When you bring your pet home to Great Britain, The Animal Health Certificate is valid for 4 months from the date of issue.  It is also only valid for 4 months for onward travel within the EU and Northern Ireland.

If you make multiple trips with your pet, you'll need a separate AHC for each trip.

For further advice and updates your vet will have the most recent information.  The government website has the rules in full.

You'll find listings of vets in France near approach roads to port towns and motorway exits on Driving with Dogs.

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