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Travelling with your pet Cats, Dogs and Ferrets


Requirements for Cats, Dogs and Ferrets

Since the 1st January 2012 there have been harmonised conditions for pet dogs, cats and ferrets that travel throughout the entire EU, including Ireland.  Accompanied pets may enter Ireland without quarantine as long as they meet the rules for travelling under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.  Pets entering Ireland will require as a minimum:-

  1. Passport OR EU certificate showing microchip identification (microchip must be inserted before rabies vaccination is administered and be readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785).
  2. Subsequent rabies vaccination at least 21 days before entry.
  3. Rabies Blood Test only if travelling from a country not included on the listed of qualifying (low risk) countries (see
  4. Specific tapeworm treatment for all dogs imported to Ireland (except for those coming from Finland, Malta, the UK or Norway). Tapeworm treatment is not required for cats.
  5. Movement of the pet animal must take place within five days of the owner.
  6. Maximum number of animals allowed to travel per person is 5. 

Additional Requirements/Information

Notification of Arrival

Operators transporting live cats, dogs, ferrets into Ireland are legally obliged under the Pet Passport (No2) Regulations 2014 to notify the arrival of the animals to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by email at least 24 hours in advance.

Entry into Ireland from within the EU and Qualifying European Countries

Pets entering Ireland from EU Member States and other qualifying European countries in may enter via any official port/airport and may be transported by any airline or ferry company operating within the State that is willing to transport such animals (see ).

As regards air travel, the Department does not require that pets travelling from countries listed in be carried as manifested freight and it is therefore a matter for the airlines to decide whether to carry the animal in the cabin or as excess baggage.

Entry into Ireland from outside of the EU

Dublin Airport is the only entry point permissible for pets entering Ireland from non-EU countries.

It is the responsibility of the pet owner to ensure that their animal qualifies to travel under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. 

Travelling with Mobility and Other Assistance Type Dogs

Mobility Dogs

Airlines operating within the EU are obliged to accommodate passengers with mobility difficulties by allowing them to bring their mobility assistance dogs free of charge in the cabin of the plane under Regulation 1107/2006 subject to compliance with animal health controls.

This Department would encourage airlines to extend the same assistance to persons travelling with their mobility assistance dogs from non-EU countries provided that EU animal health controls are complied with.  

Other Assistance/Service Dogs

The Department considers that dogs’ providing other types of assistance/services falls into a different category to a mobility assistance dog.  Our policy in this regard is that we consider it a matter for airlines to determine whether or not they will allow other support dogs to accompany travelers in the cabin of the plane provided that the EU animal health controls are complied with.  

Requirements for travelling with Assistance Dogs

  1.  All movement must fulfill EU Pet Travel Scheme requirements.
  2.  Persons travelling with mobility dogs or other assistance/service animals must contact the Department at at least 5 working days in advance of travel to ensure compliance checks can be organised.

It is the passenger’s responsibility to organise compliance checks with the Department.  Failure to organise compliance checks may result in airlines refusing permission to fly.


Transiting Ireland with Pet Cat, Dog or Ferrets

All pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from a non-EU country must undergo compliance checks on arrival in their first official EU entry point or a Boarder Inspection Point (BIP). 

Ireland is not a BIP therefore the first official EU entry point for animals in transit will be their final destination.

Persons entering the EU from non EU countries with a pet in the cabin of an aircraft may transit Ireland provided that:-

  • they qualify under the EU Pet Travel scheme to enter the EU; and
  • the passenger contacted the final destinations' Competent Authority advising them that they are transiting Ireland and the need for compliance checks.

Persons wishing to transit Dublin will need to contact the Department at at least 5 working days in advance of travel to ensure transit is approved.


Travelling by Private Transport (Aircraft/Yacht)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will facilitate the landing of pets into Ireland from by private transport, where possible.  Cats, dogs and ferrets must conform to the standard and country specific requirements as outlined in Sections 1 and 2 above.

Persons wishing to travel with their pets by private transport will need to contact the Department at at least 5 working days in advance of travel.


Quarantine Requirements

Animals which are fully complainant will not be required to enter quarantine.  Compliance checks will be performed on arrival before the animals are released to the owner.  Compliance checks are normally completed within 3 hours of landing, but may take longer.


Animals Failing Compliance Checks

It is an offence under the Pet Passport (No.2) Regulations 2014 to import or export or to attempt to import or export a dog, cat or ferret in contravention of the Regulations.

Animals which fail the compliance checks or deemed to be imported/exported in contravention to Pet Passport (No.2) Regulations 2014 , may at the discretion of this Department be:-

  1. Returned to their country/premises of origin, OR
  2. 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
  3. 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.


Information on Administration of Rabies Vaccinations & Blood Tests

Rabies Vaccinations

  1. Animals must be a minimum of 12 weeks old at the date the rabies vaccine was administered.  Vaccinations administered before 12 weeks of age will be deemed invalid for travel within the EU.
  2. Rabies vaccinations must be administered by an authorised qualified Veterinary Practitioner.
  3. Rabies vaccination must not precede the date the microchip was inserted/read.
  4. Immunity takes effect not less than 21 days from the completion of the vaccination protocol for the primary vaccination(s), or longer based on the manufacturer’s instructions. . Example: rabies vaccination administered on 01/01/2016 coverage is effective on 22/01/2016 
  5. Booster vaccinations (shots) are exempt from the 21 day validity period once there was no break in coverage.
  6. If there is a break in coverage then the next vaccination will be considered a primary vaccination.


Rabies Antibody Titration Test (Rabies Blood Test)

A rabies antibody titration test/blood test will only be required if the animals has entered a high risk country and must be carried out in line with EU Requirements. 

  1. Tests can only be performed when at least 30 days has passed after the animal received a valid rabies vaccination e.g. rabies vaccination administered on 01/01/2016 test cannot be performed until 31/01/2016.
  2. Tests must be performed in an EU Approved lab.
  3. Animals subject to tests administered outside of the EU must wait an additional 3 calendar months after the successful result before they can enter the EU.
  4. Animals vaccinated, blood tested and given an EU Pet Passport in the EU before travelling will not have to wait the 3 calendar months.
  5. The blood test/results will continue to be valid as long as the animals’ rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.  If there is a break in coverage (of even one day) the testing process must be restarted.

Contact Details

Further enquiries to be e-mailed to:    
Telephone from within Ireland:                      Land line (Dublin) 607 2827
Telephone from outside of Ireland:                Land line 00 353-1-6072827

Out of hours Contact / Contact for Dublin Airport

Mobile telephone number from within Ireland:         087 417 8986
Mobile telephone number from outside Ireland:       00 353 87 417 8986