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Q: Does my pet have to be microchipped to travel?
A: Yes.  Microchipping is a legal obligation before travelling.

  • Exception:  Pets identified by clearly readable tattoos applied before 3 July 2011 are not required to be microchipped (Reg. 576/2013 Article 17).  Proof of date of tattooing will be required.  Only cats, dogs and ferrets require a microchip.

Q:  What is ISO standard 11785?
A:   ISO 11785 (and 11784)are international standards that regulate the radio frequency identification (RFID) of animals.  ISO 11785 specifies how a transponder is activated and how the stored information is transferred to a transceiver (the characteristics of the transmission protocols between transponder and transceiver).

Q: How can I find out if my pet’s microchip is readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785? 
A: Check with the manufacturer or supplier of the microchip.

Q:   What can I do if my pet’s microchip is not ISO 11785 compatible? 
A:   There are two options:

i.  you may carry your own hand-held scanner, or
ii. you can ask your veterinary practitioner to re-chip your animal.

If you choose to have your animal re-chipped, your vet should enter both the old and the new microchip numbers and the dates of implantation of both chips in the paperwork the animal intends to travel with e.g. EU Pet Passport  and/or the Annex IV form.  The date recorded for the first microchip must precede the date of the rabies vaccination. 

Failure to do this will result in your pet failing compliance checks.  

  • See Q: What happens to pets that fail compliance checks? below.

Q: My pet has more than 1 microchip implanted - which one should be recorded on the documentation? 
A: All microchips should be recorded on the documentation along with the date each microchip was implanted.  The date recorded for the first microchip must precede the date of the rabies vaccination. 

Q: Does my pet have to be rabies vaccinated in order to travel?
A: Yes.  Rabies vaccination is a legal requirement before travelling.

Q: My pet was microchipped and vaccinated for rabies on the same day.  Is this OK?
A: Yes. Once the pet was microchipped and vaccinated in the same veterinary practice.

Q: If my pet had the rabies vaccination first and microchipped a day or two later can my pet still travel to Ireland?
A: No. Rabies vaccinations must be administered after your pet is microchipped.  If you travel your pet will fail its compliance checks. 

  • See Q:What happens to pets that fail compliance checks? below.

Q: My pet has all his vaccinations but is not microchipped or tattooed - what should I do?
A: Your pet will need to be microchipped and receive another rabies vaccination.  Your pet must then wait 21 days before travel to Ireland. 

  • There Is No Exception.

Q:  Can my pet travel if it was vaccinated for rabies at 8 weeks of age?
A:   No.  For travel to the EU, animals must be at least 12 weeks of age before getting a rabies vaccination, regardless of the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q:  Do I have to get a yearly rabies vaccination for my pet?
A:   While some EU countries require yearly rabies vaccination, 3-year vaccines are acceptable for travel to Ireland.

Q:  I don’t want to give my pet a rabies vaccination - is there an alternative?
A:   No.

Q:  Does my pet need a rabies blood test?
A:   A blood sample will only be needed if you’re travelling from a country NOT listed below.

An EU member state; Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland; the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State; Ascension Island; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia; Barbados; Bahrain; Belarus; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands); Bosnia and Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Curaçao; Fiji; Falkland Islands; French Polynesia; Hong Kong; Jamaica; Japan; Malaysia; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Montserrat; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Russia; Saint Helena; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Sint Maarten; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Singapore; Taiwan; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United States of America (including American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; US Virgin Islands); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna.

Pets travelling on holiday to a country NOT listed above will need a rabies blood test before it leaves the Ireland (or the EU).  Pet owners should allow sufficient time to complete the process before planning their trip. 

Failure to have a successful blood test recorded in the EU Pet Passport before travel, will result in your pet having to comply with the 3 month stand-still period in the country which the blood test was taken.

Q: I am taking my pet on holidays to an unlisted (high risk) country.  Do I need a rabies blood test?
A: Yes.  A blood sample is needed for all pets that have entered a country which is not listed above.

Q: How do I know if the Country I’m travelling to/from is an unlisted (high risk) country?
A: If the country you are travelling to or from is not listed above it is an unlisted country and your pet will need a rabies blood test.

Q: What does a rabies blood test involve?
A:  Blood will be drawn from your pet.  The following conditions must be met, your pet must:

  • be microchipped with a device compatible with ISO standard 11785;
  • after micochipping have a valid rabies vaccination;
  • at least 30 days after the valid rabies vaccination a blood sample must be drawn (taken) by an authorised veterinarian e.g. vaccination administered on 1 January the blood sample can be taken any time after 31 January, once the rabies vaccination remains valid;
  • Blood must be sent to an approved EU laboratory for testing - the complete list of EU Approved Laboratories are available on the European Union Website. Click here
  • The result of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  • There is a stand-still period of 3 months after successful blood test before the pet can enter the EU.

Exception To The Stand-Still Period: if the blood sample is drawn (taken) by an authorised EU veterinarian the 3 month still-still period is waived.

Q: My pet has an EU Pet Passport and has had all its rabies vaccinations in the EU – BUT – had the blood test taken outside of the EU, does it have to wait 3 months before it can travel?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to have my dog treated for tapeworm?
A: Yes.  Specific tapeworm treatment (Echinococcus multilocularis) must be given by a veterinary practitioner before the dog enters Ireland.

  • Exception: Dogs travelling from Finland, Malta, Norway and the UK.

Q: Do I have to have my cat treated for tapeworm?
A:  No.  Tapeworm treatment is not required for cats.

Q: My pet does not comply with the requirements above, can it still travel to Ireland with me?
A: No. 

Q: Where can I get the pet passport?
A: Contact a veterinarian in your home country. The national authorities in every EU country are responsible for distributing the passport to the vets that they have authorised for that purpose.

Animals travelling to Ireland from outside of the EU do not need a passport.  But these animals must travel on an Annex IV certificate.

Q: Which animals need a pet passport?
A: Cats, dogs and ferrets only.

Contact the national authorities in your country and/or in the country you wish to travel to about all other companion animals.

If your pet is a hybrid (such as a Bengal cat or Wolfdog), please contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine before making travel plans at livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie

Q: How do I know if my pets EU Passport is valid travel?
A: If your pet has received all of its rabies vaccinations by an authorised EU veterinary practitioner then the passport is valid for travel.  Rabies vaccinations administered not non authorised veterinary practitioners will invalidate the EU Pet Passport for travel and your pet must travel on an EU Annex IV health certificated, signed and endorsed by the Competent Authority in the country of origin.

Q: What is an Annex IV form?
A: An EU Annex IV form is a health certificate for a companion pet (cat, dog, ferret) travelling with its owner.  The Annex IV form is required for entry into the EU, and must be:

  • completed by an authorised veterinarian (please check with your competent authority - the equivalent of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland) for list of authorised veterinarians, and
  • Signed and endorsed Official (State) Veterinarian in the country of departure.

Q: Where can I get an Annex IV form?
A: Some countries have their own versions of Annex IV forms which they prefer passengers to use. Alternatively ablank template may be downloaded from here.

Q: Who completes the Annex IV form?
A: An authorised veterinarian should fill in the Annex IV form.  The competent authority in the country of departure (equivalent of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland), will provide a list of authorised veterinarians in your area.

In addition the Official (State) Veterinarian in the country of departure must sign and endorse the Annex IV form before travel and stamp a unique reference number on the Annex IV form before travel.

  • There Is No Exception.

Q: How long is the Annex IV form valid for?
A: Entry into the EU must take place within 10 days from the date the Official(State) Veterinarian in the country of departure signs, endorses and assigns the Annex IV form a unique reference number.  On entry into the EU the Annex IV form must be endorsed at the travellers’ point of entry. 

Once endorsed at the travellers’ point of entry the pet can travel for up to 4 months once the (i) rabies vaccination is valid and (ii) the animal is accompanied by the original endorsed Annex IV form.

Q: How does my vet complete the Annex IV form?
A: Instructions for completing the Annex IV form are on the actual form.

Q: Does my country’s Official (State) Veterinarian need to sign and endorse the Annex IV form?
A: Yes. The official veterinarian in your country Must sign and endorse the Annex IV form.  The form is only valid after it is signed and endorsed by the Competent Authority.

Q: What happens if the Official (State) Veterinarian in my country does not sign or endorse the Annex IV form?
A: The Annex IV form will be deemed invalid and you pet will fail its compliance checks. 

  • See Q: What happens to pets that fail compliance checks? below.

Q:   What is the most common mistake made on an Annex IV form?
A:  (i) Digits in microchip number transposed or a digit omitted when recorded on the Annex IV.
     (ii) Annex IV not signed or endorsed by the Competent Authority (Official State Veterinarian) in the country of origin.
     (iii) Competent Authorities official stamp not applied on all pages of the form. 
            Each page of the Annex IV form must be stamped and initialled by the
            Official State Veterinarian when (s)he is endorsing the form.  

Q: Does my pet require a health check to travel?
A: Under the EU pet travel scheme accompanied pets do not need a health check before they travel to Ireland.  However your chosen carrier may require health checks prior to travel.  Please contact your carrier directly.

Q: Can I travel with more than 5 pets?
A: No. The maximum number of pets allowed to travel with an individual under the EU pet travel scheme is 5.  If you are travelling with more than 5 pets, this is considered a “trade” movement, and there are different requirements.  Please contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine before making travel plans at livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie.

Exception: travelling with pets aged over 6 months to attend a show, a competition or a sporting event. The owner needs to provide evidence of this.  Please contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine before making travel plans at livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie.

Q: Can I fly into any airport with my pet?
A:  (i) Travelling within the EU: Yes.
     (ii) Travelling from a country outside the EU: No.  All pets originating from outside the EU must arrive in Dublin Airport.

  • Exception: (i) Mobility dogs and guide dogs for the blind; (ii) pets previously cleared in another EU Member State.

Q: Can I fly into Cork with my pet?
A:  (i) Travelling within the EU: Yes
     (ii) Travelling from outside the EU: No.

  • Exception: (i) Mobility dogs and guide dogs for the blind; (ii) pets previously cleared in another EU Member State.

Q: Do I have to use a cargo handling company?
A: It is a matter for airlines to decide how the pet is carried.

Q: What airlines can I use?
A:  Any airline willing to carry your pet.  It is for airlines to decide whether or not they carry pets, subject to EU legislation.

Q: Can you give me a letter authorising my pet to travel in the cabin of an aircraft or as excess baggage.
A:  NO.It is for airlines to decide where in the aircraft your pet should travel.

Q: What species of animals are classed as service animals?
A: Under EU legislation only recognised assistance dogs can be classed as a service animal.

Q: Can my guide and assistance dog travel in the cabin of an aircraft into Ireland?
A: Airlines operating within the EU are obliged to allow disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility to bring their recognised assistance dogs in the cabin of the plane, where possible, subject to compliance with animal health controls.

Q: What are the requirements for travelling to Ireland with my guide and assistance dog?
A:  Your dog must meet the entry requirements outlined under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

Q: What documentation does my guide and assistance dog need to travel with?
A: The dog must travel with a valid EU Pet Passport or a valid EU Annex IV form.  There are no exceptions.  Failure to travel with the correct documentation will result in your pet failing compliance checks.

  • See Q:   What happens to pets that fail compliance checks? below.

Q: Do I need to give the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine advance notice when travelling with my guide and assistance dog?
A: Yes.  If you are travelling from a non-EU country, and are accompanied by a service animal in the cabin of the plane, you are advised to provide advance notice of the arrival of the animal into Ireland.  We ask for advance notice of at least 24 hours before your departure time.  You can provide advance notice by emailing petmove@agriculture.gov.ie, and giving your name, flight number, arrival time in Ireland, and type/breed of animal.  You must not leave the airport before compliance checks are carried out.   

  • Service animals must comply with the rules on EU pet travel. 

Q: Do I need to give airlines notice to travel with my guide and assistance dog?
A: Please contact your chosen carrier for their policy guidelines on travelling with guide and assistance dog.

It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure that they allow sufficient time in order to meet the requirements of the airlines.  Failure to do so could result in the airline refusing to allow your dog to travel. 

Q: What documentation do I need to give to the airline to travel with my guide and assistance dog?
A: Your chosen carrier will advise what documentation you need to submit in order to qualify to travel with your guide and assistance dog in the cabin.  Please contact you chosen carrier directly.

Q: What documentation do I need to give to the Department before I travel?
A: None.  It is your responsibility to ensure you submit the correct paperwork on landing in Dublin Airport, to allow the checks to be carried out at the Airport.

  • Failure to do this will result in your pet failing compliance checks.  See Q: What happens to pets that fail compliance checks? below.

Q: Will the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine issue a letter authorising the carriage of my with my guide and assistance dog in the cabin of the aircraft?
A: No.  The passenger may request confirmation that compliance checks have been organised at the travellers' point of entry by emailing Petmove@agriculture.gove.ie  no less than 24 hours before arrival.

Q: Is there a fee payable for compliance checks?
A: Yes.  There is a fee for compliance checks for animals apart from guide dogs carried in the cabin of the plane (payable in cash; Euro only).

  • The fee payable for compliance checks is waived for guide (seeing-eye) dogs.

Q: I am transiting Dublin to another EU country.  Will the Irish officials carry out the compliance checks on my guide dog / service animal?
A: No.  Compliance checks must be carried out in your final destination.

Q: What paperwork do I need to transit Dublin to another EU country?
A: There is no specific transit paperwork required.  However your pet will need to fulfil the requirements under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.  See further details on this website.

Q: Are there toilet facilities in Dublin Airport for my pet?
A:Yes. There is a designated room inside Terminal 2 for your pet.  You will need to have a specialised pad which your dog can use and you must dispose of it in a hygienic manner.  Dublin Airport staff may be contacted on the duty mobile phone: 00 353 (0) 87 417 8986 for further details.

  • Please Note: There are No facilities in Terminal 1.  Pets landing in Terminal 1 will have to be brought over to Terminal 2 to use the facilities.

Q: Can I transit through Ireland to a Non-EU Country without fulfilling the entry requirements for Ireland or the EU?
A: Yes.  However pets which disembark an aircraft in Ireland must meet the conditions set out under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

Q: What happens to pets that fail compliance checks?
A: Animals which fail the compliance checks will at the discretion of the Department be either:

(i) returned to their country/premises of origin, Or
(ii) placed into quarantine for the appropriate length and have the necessary vaccinations/tests required in order for the pet to become compliant with EU health requirements, Or
(iii) in limited circumstances euthanised.

  • The measures referred to above shall be applied at the expense of the owner and without the possibility of any financial compensation for the owner and/or the authorised person.

Q: Does Ireland have a list of banned breeds of dogs?
A: Ireland has a list of restricted breeds.  A number of EU Member States have both banned and restricted breeds of dogs.  Your dog may qualify to enter Ireland however it may be banned or restricted for movement to other EU Member States. 

You must check with the Embassy of the country you are travelling to for details before travel arrangements are made.  Failure to do so may result in your dog being euthanized on arrival.

RESTRICTED BREEDS IN IRELAND

The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 imposes restrictive rules in relation to the following breeds (and strains/cross-breeds) of dog:

  • American pit bull terrier
  • English bull terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Bull mastiff
  • Dobermann pinscher
  • German shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Japanese Akita
  • Japanese tosa             
  • Bandog

Q: If I suspect that an animal in my care has rabies, what should I do?
A: If rabies is suspected, it should be reported immediately to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by calling +353 (0) 76 106 4403. Advice will be given about what steps to take next. The suspected animal should be kept isolated and restrained, as well as any other animals that may have had contact with the suspect case.

Q: Where can I find further information about EU Rules?
A: You can find further information about EU Rules here.