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Bringing pets to Ireland

Introduction

The importation of pets into Ireland has always been strictly controlled to ensure that diseases such as rabies are not introduced. The EU system of Passports for Pets allows cats, dogs and ferrets to travel between EU member states. Pets from higher risk non-EU countries will also require a blood test - see 'Non-qualifying high-risk countries' below.

Cats, dogs and ferrets

If you are coming on holiday or to move to Ireland or other non-commercial movement where there is no sale or change of ownership, you may bring your cat, dog or ferret with you. Since 28 December 2014, under the Pet Passport (No. 2) Regulations there are changes to the rules governing the non-commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets.

Pets from EU member states

If you want to import a cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from any EU member state including the UK, the pet animal must have an EU Pet Passport, (this document is the same throughout the EU).

The Passport certifies that:

  • The pet is travelling from an eligible country.
  • The pet is identified by an implanted microchip.
  • The pet has been vaccinated against rabies subsequently at least 21 days before travel
  • Dogs coming from countries other than the UK, Finland or Malta have been treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel. The time and date of treatment are entered on the passport. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

If there are more than 5 animals, a veterinary health certificate showing that animals have been clinically examined within 48 hours of departure is also required unless the owner can show proof that the animals are being brought to compete in a sporting event or other competition.

Pets from outside the EU

If you want to import a cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from a country outside the EU there are 2 categories of these countries: qualifying lower-risk countries and non-qualifying high-risk countries. You can check if your country of origin is on this list of qualifying lower-risk countries. If it is not on this list then your country of origin is a non-qualifying high-risk country.

Pets from qualifying non-EU countries

A cat, dog or ferret from a qualifying lower-risk non-EU country must undergo the following in this order:

  • Be identified by a microchip
  • Be vaccinated for rabies subsequently
  • Have a veterinary health certificate in the form of Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013 to certify that it is currently immunised against rabies and dogs must be treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before arriving in Ireland. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

Non-qualifying high-risk countries

If you are coming from a non-qualifying high-risk country your pet must:

  • Be microchipped (this must be done before anything else)
  • Be vaccinated for rabies subsequently
  • Have a blood test after the rabies vaccination at least 3 months before entry
  • Have a veterinary health certificate in the form of Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013 to certify that it is currently immunised against rabies and dogs must be treated against tapeworm not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before arriving in Ireland. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

There is more information about bringing cats, dogs or ferrets into Ireland on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Pet birds, rabbits and rodents

If you are moving to live in Ireland or coming here on holiday, you may be able to bring your pet bird, rabbit or rodent with you, provided you meet certain requirements – see ‘How to apply’ below. There is more information about the entry requirements for birds, rabbits and rodents either from EU or from outside the EU on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Travel to Ireland

The operator of the airline or ferry company is 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 to petmove@agriculture.gov.ie.

Travel from EU

Airlines registered with the Department may choose to carry pets complying with the above regulations. Compliant pets may travel on any ferry. The pet must travel with its owner or with a person acting on behalf of the owner (unaccompanied pets cannot travel to Ireland under the EU Pet Passport System).

Travel from outside the EU

The animal must be transported by air to Ireland on an approved airline or pet cargo carrier. You must provide evidence to the airline in advance that your pet is travelling with you for non-commercial purposes.

Entry to Ireland is by airline into Dublin airport where the pet is checked to see if it is compliant with the entry requirements.

Non-compliant pets

If the pet does not meet the entry requirements it will be returned to the country of origin at the owner's expense.

How to apply

Cats, dogs and ferrets

If you are importing a pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from an EU member state or certain other EU countries, you should arrange for your veterinarian to microchip and then vaccinate the pet in that order, and obtain an EU Pet Passport from the competent authority in the EU member state of origin.

If you are importing a pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from a qualifying low-risk country, you should arrange for your veterinarian to microchip and then vaccinate the pet in that order.

If you are importing a pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from a non-qualifying high-risk country, you should arrange for your veterinarian to microchip, vaccinate and then bloodtest the pet in that order

Contact a local veterinarian or the competent authority for information on the veterinary health certificate in the form of Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013.

Pet birds, rabbits and rodents

If you are bringing a pet bird, rabbit or rodent to Ireland from another EU state or a relevant European state you must accompany the pet to Ireland. At least 24 hours before you arrive in Ireland you must send a completed advance notice of importation into Ireland form for pet birds or for a pet rodent or rabbit to the Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at the address below. Owners of pet birds must also travel with a completed Owner Declaration for Pet Birds form.

If you wish to bring a pet bird, rabbit or rodent from a country outside the EU, you must apply for an import permit using either the form for a pet bird or the form for a pet rabbit or rodent. You should send the application to the Animal Health and Welfare Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, at the address below, in sufficient time to allow the pre-export requirements, which include a veterinary health certificate, to be completed.

Where to apply

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Animal Health Section
Agriculture House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel:(01) 607 2827
Homepage: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets
Email: pets@agriculture.gov.ie

Page edited: 13 February 2015

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