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.
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.
The Passport certifies that:
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.
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:
Non-qualifying high-risk countries
If you are coming from a non-qualifying high-risk country your pet must:
There is more information about bringing cats, dogs or ferrets into Ireland on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
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.
If the pet does not meet the entry requirements it will be returned to the country of origin at the owner's expense.
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.
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.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.