Taking a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland just got a whole lot more complicated thanks to Brexit; even though GB and NI are all part of the same country and together, `recently left the EU.
In order to avoid the need for a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland itself, for many purposes, entry to Northern Ireland from mainland Britain is now being viewed as and treated as a border between the UK and the EU; and one such application of this is the movement of dogs (and other pets) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Before the UK left the EU, taking a dog to and from the mainland UK and Northern Ireland used to be no different than simply moving around the mainland UK with a dog; ie., there were no restrictions on it nor any requirements you had to fulfil.
However, from now on, taking dogs to and from Northern Ireland and the UK will be rather more complicated, onerous and expensive, and UK pet passports are no longer valid for such journeys.
In fact, you need to get a special type of certificate issued to your dog for each and every trip between GB and NI, although the certificate is valid to permit one return trip within a set window of time too.
So, what requirements do you need to meet to take your dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland? This article will spell them out for you. Read on to learn more.
The requirements for taking a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by any means are essentially the same as if the dog was going from Great Britain to an EU country, as opposed to simply into another part of the UK, which is what Northern Ireland ultimately is.
This means that British-issued pet passports are no longer valid to take a dog from Great Britain to Norther Ireland, and now dog owners wanting to take their dog from Britain to Northern Ireland must follow the same process they would if taking the dog to the EU – which means getting an Animal Health certificate.
This certificate needs to be issued by an officially authorised vet to each dog travelling before every individual journey from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
What are the requirements to get an Animal Health Certificate to take a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland?
If you need to take a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you need an Animal Health Certificate to be issued to the dog, and in order to get one, you also need to fulfil a number of requirements. Here’s what criteria you need to fulfil to get an Animal Health Certificate to take a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland:
Your dog must be microchipped and registered with up-to-date details of their owner; this is the law in the UK anyway.
Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies (which can only be performed in dogs of over 12 weeks of age).
There must be a gap of 21 days between the rabies vaccination and travel to enable the vaccine to take effect. This also means that the youngest a dog could possibly be to be taken from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is 15 weeks of age.
Your dog must be seen by an official veterinary surgeon a maximum of 10 days before your travel date to get an Animal Health Certificate issues for their journey.
Your dog must also be treated for tapeworms (and a record made of this) using an approved product between 1-5 days prior to the journey.
Entering Northern Ireland must also be made at one of the designated Travellers’ Points of Entry.
Animal Health Certificates for dogs travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland aren’t like the old UK pet passports, which functioned much like human passports in that they could be used for multiple trips for as long as the passport was valid.
An Animal Health Certificate to take a dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is only valid within 10 days of its date of issue, and is valid for just one border crossing or entry into the EU, which for the purposes of pet travel from Britain to Northern Ireland is how Northern Ireland is classified.
However, once you and your dog have entered Northern Ireland with your dog’s Animal Health certificate, the certificate remains valid for onward travel into the EU or across other EU borders for up to four months after the certificate’s issue date.
The Animal Health Certificate is also valid to allow your dog to re-enter Great Britain from Northern Ireland (or the EU) for up to four months after the certificate’s issue date.