Information on the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

From 1 January 2021, England, Scotland and Wales became a Part 2 Listed Country for pets travel to Europe, with an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) replacing the European PETS Passport. Guide and assistance dog owners in Northern Ireland retain use of the European PETS Passport. The UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) provides guidance on what guide and assistance dog owners will need to do to travel outside the UK.

Having a guide dog should never stop people with sight loss from living the life they choose. Please write to your MP using our quick template and ask them to raise this with the Minister.

Information for guide dog owners travelling to the EU from 2021

Since 1 January 2021, the requirements to travel with a dog to other countries in Europe, and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, have changed. The requirements for dog owners in Northern Ireland will be different from dog owners in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).

Guide dog owners looking to travel should give more time to prepare in advance, and contact either an Official Veterinarian, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in Great Britain or the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland. We are not able to give specific advice on making travel arrangements.

There will be no pet travel compliance checks until 1 October 2021 between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, however, we remain concerned that the proposals for checks would pose a significant barrier to movement within the UK for assistance dog owners.  

We are working closely with Ministers and officials to minimise or remove restrictions for assistance dog owners when travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Checks on travel between Great Britain and the rest of Europe have been introduced, and any assistance dog owner wishing to travel to any other European country will need to adhere to the new requirements.

Guide dog owners in Great Britain

Great Britain is no longer a member of the European Pet Passport Scheme. Guide dog owners who live in Great Britain planning to travel to countries in Europe (including the Republic of Ireland) need to meet a number of additional requirements, including obtaining an Animal Health Certificate ahead of each journey. Guidance has been published on Defra’s website.

These requirements are due to apply to residents of Great Britain travelling to Northern Ireland, however, checks on these requirements have been delayed until at least October 2021. For further information, contact Defra’s Pet Travel helpline, or an Official Veterinarian.

Guide dog owners in Northern Ireland

Residents of Northern Ireland will be able to use Northern Ireland-issued European Pet Passports. However, the process of making return trips to Great Britain will change following the introduction of checks and will require further planning and documentation. Before planning any trip, please read DAERA’s guidance and contact them or an Official Veterinarian for further information.

Pet Travel helpline

When emailing the pet travel helpline, please give them your name, address and day time telephone number.

Telephone enquiries are available Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

0370 241 1710