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Bringing your pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland

Bringing your pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland

The rules on bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland (for example, on holiday or because you are taking up residence here) change depending on which country you are travelling from.  There are different rules if you’re bringing other animals into Ireland.

Your pet dog, cat or ferret must be accompanied by original paperwork, not copies.  Your pet dog, cat or ferret must arrive in Ireland within five days before or after you travel (but it can be accompanied by someone else).  Five is the maximum number of animals allowed to travel with you. These rules apply no matter which country you are travelling from. 

If you are travelling to Ireland to buy, sell or gift a dog, cat or ferret, if a change of ownership is involved, if the animal is not travelling within five days of your travel, or if you are travelling with more than 5 pets (the exception is if you are travelling for a dog show/competition, and you will need to provide written confirmation), there are different rules.

Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from another EU country, or from one of the following European countries/territories:  “Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State”, please click here.

If you are bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from one of the following countries/territories “Ascension Island; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia; Barbados; Bahrain; Belarus; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands); Bosnia and Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Curaçao; Fiji; Falkland Islands; French Polynesia; Hong Kong; Jamaica; Japan; Malaysia; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Montserrat; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Russia; Saint Helena; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Sint Maarten; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Singapore; Taiwan; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United States of America (including American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; US Virgin Islands); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna.”, please click here.

Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from any other country, please click here.

If you are travelling with a guide or assistance dogs, please click here.

If you are transiting Ireland with pet cat, dog or ferret, please click here.

If you are travelling by private transport, please click here.

For responsibilities of the transporter, please click here.

For contact and out of hours details please click here.

 

Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from an EU Member State or one of the countries listed below.

Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State.

Pet cats, dogs and ferrets may enter Ireland from an EU country or one of the countries listed above and will not be required to enter quarantine if they have:-

1. been microchipped.
The microchip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination, and must be readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.  If the microchip cannot be read when you enter or return to Ireland, your pet could be put into quarantine or refused entry.  You may carry your own hand held scanner if the microchip is not readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.

2. a valid rabies vaccination.
The vaccination must be given after the microchip is inserted. The pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the vaccine is given, and it must be given by an authorised veterinary practitioner. You must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination, or the last of the primary course of vaccinations, is given, before bringing the dog, cat or ferret to Ireland.

A rabies vaccination with a 3-year validity period is acceptable for entry into Ireland.   Booster vaccinations (shots) are exempt from the 21-day rule, if there has been no break in coverage.  If there has been a break in coverage, the next vaccination will be considered a primary vaccination, and the 21-day rule applies;

3. are accompanied by a valid pet passport, or an official veterinary certificate (an Annex IV cert). Ireland accepts pet passports from all EU countries, and from the following European countries/territories: Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State. 

Rabies vaccinations administered by a veterinary practitioner not authorised by an EU country will render the EU Pet Passport invalid for travel.

4. Dogs must have a tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) treatment if they are coming from countries other than Finland, Malta, Norway or the UK. 
The treatment must be given by a veterinarian not more than 120 hours (5 days), and not less than 24 hours (1 day), before the scheduled arrival time of the dog in Ireland.

If you do not follow these rules, your pet may be refused entry into Ireland, or may be placed into quarantine for the necessary tests or vaccinations and remain there until it is considered compliant with the above rules. In very limited circumstances, your pet may be euthanised.  These measures will be implemented at the owner’s expense.

Cats, dogs or ferrets coming from other EU countries may enter Ireland through any port/airport of entry and may be transported by any airline or ferry company operating in Ireland willing to transport such animals.

It is up to the airline to decide whether to carry the animal in the cabin or as excess baggage – the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine does not decide on this.

 

Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from one of the countries/territories listed below.

Ascension Island; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia; Barbados; Bahrain; Belarus; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands); Bosnia and Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Curaçao; Fiji; Falkland Islands; French Polynesia; Hong Kong; Jamaica; Japan; Malaysia; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Montserrat; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Russia; Saint Helena; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Sint Maarten; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Singapore; Taiwan; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United States of America (including American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; US Virgin Islands); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna.

Pet cats, dogs or ferrets may enter Ireland from one of the countries listed above and will not be required to enter quarantine if they have:-

1. been microchipped.
The microchip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination, and must be readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.  If the microchip cannot be read when you enter or return to Ireland, your pet could be put into quarantine or refused entry.  You may carry your own hand-held scanner if the microchip is not readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.

2. a valid rabies vaccination.
The vaccination must be given after the microchip is inserted. The pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the vaccine is given and it must be given by an authorised veterinary practitioner. You must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination, or the last of the primary course of vaccinations, is given, before bringing the dog, cat or ferret to Ireland.  A rabies vaccination with a 3 year validity period is acceptable for entry into Ireland.   Booster vaccinations (shots) are exempt from the 21-day rule, if there has been no break in coverage.  If there has been a break in coverage, the next vaccination will be considered a primary vaccination, and the 21-day rule applies.

3. are accompanied by a valid pet passport, or an official veterinary certificate (an Annex IV cert). Ireland accepts pet passports from all EU countries, and from the following European countries/territories: Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State.

If your pet dog, cat or ferret does not have a valid EU pet passport, it must be accompanied by a third-country official veterinary certificate (an Annex IV cert) before entering an EU country including Ireland.  You don’t need an Annex IV cert if your pet has a valid EU pet passport which certifies that the rabies treatment is valid and was administered by an authorised EU veterinary practitioner. 

The Annex IV cert is valid for 10 days from the date it is signed and endorsed by an Official (State) Veterinarian in the country of departure.  If the pet is travelling by sea, the validity is extended by the number of days of travel by sea.

The EU member state through which you enter the EU will endorse the Annex IV cert after carrying out compliance checks.  The endorsed certificate will be valid for 4 months, or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever is the earliest.  Your pet can travel between other EU member states with the endorsed certificate.

4. Dogs must have a tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) treatment if they are coming from countries other than Finland, Malta, Norway or the UK. 

The treatment must be given by a veterinarian not more than 120 hours (5 days), and not less than 24 hours (1 day), before the scheduled arrival time of the dog in Ireland.

5. Compliance checks organised
All animals entering the EU from non-EU countries must undergo compliance checks on arrival.  If your pet is entering Ireland from a non-EU country, you must organise compliance checks in advance. These checks can be arranged with Lissenhall Veterinary Hospital (lissenhallvet@eircom.net) or Vets Direct (info@vetsdirect.ie). You do not need to organise compliance checks if your pet enters Ireland from another EU Member State.

6. Pets must enter Ireland through Dublin airport only, except recognised assistance dogs.

If you do not follow these rules, your pet may be refused entry into Ireland, or may be placed into quarantine for the necessary tests or vaccinations. In very limited circumstances, your pet may be euthanised.  These measures will be implemented at the owner’s expense. 

 

Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from any other country

Pet cats, dogs or ferrets may enter Ireland from any other a country or territory, not listed in the previous sections, and will not be required to enter quarantine if they have:-

1. been microchipped.
The microchip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination, and must be readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.  If the microchip cannot be read when you enter or return to Ireland, your pet could be put into quarantine or refused entry.  You may carry your own hand-held scanner if the microchip is not readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.

2. a valid rabies vaccination and a successful rabies serological test (blood test).

Rabies Vaccination

(i) The vaccination must be given after the microchip is inserted.

(ii) The pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the vaccine is given and it must be given by an authorised veterinary practitioner. A rabies vaccination with a 3-year validity period is acceptable for entry into Ireland.

Rabies serological test (blood test)

(i) The blood test must be completed at least 30 days after the valid rabies vaccination. If the test was taken in a non-EU country, you must wait 3 months before with a standstill period of 3 months. Exception: The 3-month stand-still period does not apply if the blood tests are performed by an authorised EU veterinary practitioner within the EU and the satisfactory result is entered into the EU Pet passport.

(ii) Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory located either  in an EU Member State or another country. 

(iii) The result of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).

Your vet should give you a copy of the test results and also enter the day the blood sample was taken into the Annex IV cert (see no. 3 below).  The blood test will continue to be valid as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.

If the blood test was taken outside of the EU, you must wait three months from the date of a satisfactory result has been recorded before you travel to the EU including Ireland.  The three month stand-still period applies to all pets (EU and non EU). 

The blood test results are valid for the life time of the pet unless there is a break in the rabies vaccinations i.e. you miss the booster vaccination, even if it’s just one day.  If the booster vaccination is administered late, the whole process will have to be repeated.

3. are accompanied by a valid pet passport, or an official veterinary certificate (an Annex IV cert).

Ireland accepts pet passports from all EU countries, and from the following European countries/territories: Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State. 

If your pet dog, cat or ferret does not have an EU pet passport, it must be accompanied by an official veterinary certificate (in the form of Annex IV cert) before entering an EU country including Ireland.  You don’t need an Annex IV cert if your pet has a valid EU pet passport which certifies that the rabies treatment is valid and was administered by an authorised EU veterinary practitioner.

The Annex IV cert is valid for 10 days from the date it is signed and endorsed by an Official (State) Veterinarian in the country of departure.  If the pet is travelling by sea, the validity is extended by the number of days of travel as sea. 

The EU member state through which you enter the EU will endorse the Annex IV cert after carrying out compliance checks.  The endorsed certificate will be valid for 4 months, or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever is the earliest.  Your pet can travel between other EU member states with the endorsed certificate.

4. Dogs must have a tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) treatment if they are entering Ireland from countries other than Finland, Malta, Norway or the UK. 

5. Compliance checks organised
All animals entering the EU from non-EU countries must undergo compliance checks at the airport.  If your pet is entering Ireland from a non-EU country, you must organise compliance checks in advance. These checks can be arranged with Lissenhall Veterinary Hospital (lissenhallvet@eircom.net) or Vets Direct (info@vetsdirect.ie).

6. Pets must enter Ireland through Dublin airport only, except recognised assistance dogs.

If you do not follow these rules, your pet may be refused entry into Ireland, or may be placed into quarantine for the necessary tests or vaccinations and remain there until it is considered compliant. In very limited circumstances, your pet may be euthanised. These measures will be implemented at the owner’s expense. 

 

Travelling with guide and assistance dogs

Airlines operating within the EU are obliged to allow disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility to bring their recognised assistance dogs in the cabin of the plane subject to compliance with animal health controls.

It a matter for airlines whether or not they will allow animals (cats, dogs) providing other types of assistance/services, such as emotional support, to accompany travellers in the cabin of the plane.

Disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility may enter Ireland at any airport with their assistance dog.  Otherwise, all animals entering Ireland from outside the EU must come via Dublin airport. 

Guide and assistance dogs must meet the rules for travelling with dogs, which vary depending on which country the dog is coming from, for rules please click here. In addition, you must:-

1. Notify the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of your intention to enter Ireland with a guide/assistance dog or other type of service animal (cats, dogs), no more than 5 working days and no less than 1 working day prior to travel, by

  • filling in an advance notice form. Forms can be accessed here

  and

  • e-mailing it together with the Annex IV form or the following pages from the EU pet passport (iii) marking of animal, (v) vaccination against rabies and  (vi) rabies antibody titration test to Petmove@agriculture.gov.ie

2. for assistance dogs (not guide/mobility dogs), you must obtain written confirmation from the airline that it is prepared to carry the animal in the cabin.  There is a fee for compliance checks for these animals (payable in cash; EURO only).

Only dogs that are fully compliant with the rules will be allowed to travel in the cabin of an aircraft.

You must contact the airline directly regarding your travel plans with a guide dog/assistance animal.  Airlines may require written confirmation that you have arranged the compliance checks.

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit the correct paperwork to allow the checks to be carried out at the Airport.

 

Transiting Ireland with Pet Cat, Dog or Ferrets

All pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from a non-EU country must undergo compliance checks on arrival in their first official EU entry point (country) or a Border Inspection Point (BIP).

Ireland is not a BIP for cats, dogs or ferrets.  Therefore the first official EU entry point for animals in transit will be their final EU destination.

Persons entering the EU from non-EU countries with a pet in the cabin of an aircraft may transit Ireland provide that:-

  • the animal complies with rules for pet travel,

   and

  • the Competent Authority of the final destination is advised that the animal is transiting Ireland and will need compliance checks in the final destination.

Pets who do not full qualify under the above rules may not disembark the aircraft.

 

Travelling by Private Transport (Aircraft/Yacht)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine may facilitate the landing of pets into Ireland by private transport, where possible.  Cats, dogs and ferrets must comply with the rules for pet travel.

 

Contact Details

Further enquiries to be e-mailed to:              livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie
Telephone from within Ireland:                      Land line (Dublin) 607 2827
Telephone from outside of Ireland:                Land line 00 353-1-6072827

Out of office hours contact for Dublin Airport

Mobile telephone number from within Ireland:         087 417 8986
Mobile telephone number from outside Ireland:       00 353 87 417 8986