There is no doubt that a dog is a man’s best friend and hey, cats aren’t so bad either. However, if you are in the process of bringing your pet or pets to Ireland from abroad, then you probably realize that this task isn’t as easy as you may have previously envisaged.
Bringing your pet or pets to Ireland can be a daunting task, and one that requires meticulous planning and preparation. Like every aspect of your move to Ireland, preparation is an important part of this journey.
If you want to bring your pet or pets to Ireland, then there is a lot to keep in mind. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to bring your beloved furry or feline friend to Ireland, with as little stress as possible for you and your best friend.
Passports are for pets too
Your departure destination is one of the most important factors that will determine the ease, or difficulty, with which you will be able to bring your pet or pets to Ireland. If you want to bring your pet dog, cat or ferret to Ireland and are travelling from a European Union (EU) member state, then they must have a pet passport.
While it may be a surprise to you, within the EU passports are no longer just for people. Since 2014 and the introduction of the EU’s Pet Passport Regulations, it is mandatory to have documentation for your pet when travelling between EU member states. One of the major advantages of the Pet Passport is that it allows for the smooth movement of animals — mainly dogs, cats and ferrets — through Europe without running the risk of a rabies outbreak taking place.
In brief, the Pet Passport certifies that:
- Your pet is travelling to Ireland from an eligible EU state where a certified veterinary check has taken place.
- Your pet has been implanted with a microchip to differentiate it from other pets.
- Your pet has been vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travelling.
- Finally, if your pet is a dog, the pet password confirms that it has been treated for tapeworm between 24-120 hours before travel. It is important to note that this excludes dogs from the UK, Finland and Malta.
You can obtain a Pet Passport from a local veterinary clinic. The appointed vet should make sure that the time and date of the treatments is accurate. If you are a non-EU citizen, but plan on making Ireland or another EU country your home, then you can also apply for a Pet Passport once you arrive in Europe.
Finally, the Pet Passport is only valid if you meet all the entry requirements, and, in some cases if your pet has had a recent blood test, then it is necessary that you travel with previous Pet Passports. To be sure about this, ask your vet if you think this applies to your pet.
Bringing pets to Ireland from non-EU countries
If your dog, cat or ferret is coming from a non-EU member state or one of the additional countries listed here, then they will fall into two categories: qualifying low-risk countries and non-qualifying high-risk countries.
First things first, pets coming from qualifying low-risk countries outside the EU will not need to go into quarantine. However, what they will need before arrival is:
- A microchip readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785;
- A valid rabies vaccination, given after the microchip has been fitted;
- An Annex IV certificate if they don’t have a pet passport, which is valid for 10 days.
- A tapeworm treatment (for dogs only).
- A compliance check upon arriving to Ireland is mandatory for animals coming from non-EU countries. These can be completed at Lissenhall Veterinary Hospital or Vets Direct.
By contrast, if you are bringing your pet or pets to Ireland from a non-qualifying high-risk country, they can avoid quarantine provided they complete the following steps:
- Have a microchip readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785 inserted, as well as both a rabies vaccination and rabies blood test. These need to be completed at least three months in advance of the pet traveling, as well as meeting the criteria outlined in the qualifications for animals from a low-risk qualifying country. For more in-depth information, see the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine website.
There are different rules again for other animals, all depending on the country of origin. No matter what, they must have their original paperwork — copies will not be accepted — and they must arrive five days before or after you travel to Ireland. This applies specifically to birds and other pets like rodents and rabbits.
Birds of a feather…
The following stipulations apply to pet birds, which cannot exceed five in total. This includes birds that you are moving to Ireland with, or even pets that you are taking on holiday. Again, distinctions need to be made between pet birds coming from within or from outside the EU.
Within the EU/EEA:
- Fill in an owner declaration, keeping it with you at all times of travel.
- The bird must be accompanied by you or a person taking responsibility for it.
- You must fill in an advance notice of import form, at least 24 hours in advance of the bird arriving in Ireland, and email it to [email protected]
From outside the EU/EEA:
- Your pet bird must be accompanied by you or a person taking responsibility for it.
- You need a veterinary health certificate, signed by a recognised vet, including pre-export compliance.
- Your pet bird will need to be individually identified.
- The birds you are bringing to Ireland with you must adhere to either Part A or Part B of the Annex I form.
Rodents and Rabbits:
Although they are less common pets than cats, dogs and maybe even ferrets, the fact is that many people moving pets to Ireland are interested in having rabbits or rodents accompany them. Again, the factors that will determine the journey your pet rabbit or rodent will need to make will be determined largely by where they are arriving in Ireland from.
Within the EU/EEA:
- The pet must be accompanied by you or a person taking responsibility for it.
- You must fill in an advance notice of import form, at least 24 hours in advance of the rabbits or rodents arriving in Ireland.
From outside the EU/EEA:
- You must apply for a licence from [email protected], at least two months before you travel to Ireland with your pet.
- You will be required to include a veterinary health certificate, signed by a recognised vet.
- You must ship the rodents or rabbits in a container that meets the International Air Transport Association’s regulations for live animals, and is secured with a lock.
- You must fill in an advance notice of import form, at least 24 hours in advance of the bird arriving in Ireland.
- Finally, rodents and rabbits that are non-domestic, but kept as a pet, must be cross-checked with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. A CITES licence may be required.