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Bringing an unaccompanied pet Cat, Dog or Ferret into Ireland

Movement of cats, dogs and ferrets travelling unaccompanied, or traded, within the EU are subject to the following requirements:-

1. They must be 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. Have 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 after the last of the primary course of vaccinations, 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. Must undergo a veterinary health check
Health check must be carried out by an authorised veterinary practitioner within 48 hours of departure.  The health check must be recorded in the EU pet passport.

4. Be accompanied by original, signed paper work:-

(i) Animals coming from another EU country
must be accompanied by a valid pet passport and an Intra Trade Animals Health (TRACEs) Certificate.  TRACEs certs are issued in Ireland by the Departments local district veterinary offices (DVO).  Exporters should phone in advance to arrange an appointment.

(ii) Animals coming from a non-EU country
must be accompanied by a veterinary Annex I EU Health Certificate (pdf 109Kb) and may only enter the EU via an official Border Inspection Post (BIP). 
There are no approved BIPs in Ireland for small animals.  Therefore unaccompanied animals may not enter Ireland directly from a non-EU country.

5. Dogs travelling into Ireland 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.

6. A successful rabies serological test (blood test) is required if travelling from countries other than Andorra; Gibraltar; Greenland and the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Monaco; Norway; San Marino; Switzerland; Vatican City State,  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.

  1. The blood test must be completed at least 30 days after the valid rabies vaccination, with a standstill period of 3 months.
  2. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory that is either inside or outside the EU. 
  3. The result of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).

7. Each animal must have access to food and water for the duration of the journey.  Detailed guidelines on the welfare of these animals during transport are included on the DAFM website at the following link:

8. Animals must be consigned out of the country by an approved Type 2 transporter only. For list of type 2 transporters see

9. If you are intending to export dogs, cats or ferrets, your premises must be registered under EU law (“Balai”). Click here for Balai Registration of Dog Premises - Application Form.

Animals Failing Compliance Checks

It is an offence under the Pet Passport (No.2) Regulations 2014 to import, export or to attempt to import or export a dog, cat or ferret in contravention of the Regulations. Animals which fail the compliance checks or deemed to be imported/exported in contravention to the regulations, may at the discretion of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, be:

  1. returned to their country/premises of origin, OR
  2. placed into quarantine for the appropriate length and have the necessary vaccinations/tests required in order for the pet to become compliant with EU health requirements, OR
  3. in limited circumstances, euthanised.

The measures referred to above shall be applied at the expense of the owner and without the possibility of any financial compensation for the owner and/or the authorised person.

Contact Details

Further enquiries to be e-mailed to:    
Telephone from within Ireland:                      Land line (01) 607 2827
Telephone from outside of Ireland:                Land line 00 353-1-6072827

Out of hours Contact  Dublin Airport

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