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Holidaying with your dog, cat or ferret

in Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 17 Mar 2021
Image by Animal Rescue Centre Iowa

Can I Take My Ferret to Spain?

The short answer to that question is, it depends which List of Countries for pet travel to Europe your country of residence is on. During the Brexit negotiations Britain made a dog’s breakfast of their application and ended up on List 2 along with Argentina and Russia.

Does my pet need an animal health certificate?

That means that British owners of cats, dogs and yes, ferrets, will have to complete 12 pages of an application form and ensure the pet is micro-chipped and vaccinated for rabies a minimum of 21 days before the travel date. If the pet does not have a Pet Passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, then it will also need an animal health certificate issued not more than 10 days before travel.

Brexit took pet owners by surprise. They were expecting Britain to be on List 1 of countries for pet travel to Europe which would have meant a Pet Passport issued in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) would have continued to be valid in Europe. They would have been able to take their pets on unlimited trips to Europe. Relegated to List 2, the Pet Passport issued in Great Britain is no longer valid. If the Pet Passport was issued in Northern Ireland or the EU then it does remain valid. Everybody else has to pay up to £110 per pet per animal health certificate per journey.

What your pet needs to travel to Spain

When travelling to Spain (applies to all the EU and Northern Ireland), your pet, including assistance dogs, needs:
- a microchip
- a valid rabies certificate
- an animal health certificate unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland

Getting an Animal Health Certificate

You do not need an animal health certificate if you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.
You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate. You need to do this no more than 10 days before you travel.
The certificate needs to be signed by an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV). Check your vet can issue animal health certificates. If they cannot, ask them to help you find an OV.

When you visit your vet, you’ll need to take proof of your pet’s:
- microchipping date - vaccination history

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:
- 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
- 4 months for onward travel within the EU
- 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain
Your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Rabies vaccination, boosters and blood tests

You must get your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your vet needs proof that your pet is at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them.

If you are taking your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland, you must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before you travel.

You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they will need to be vaccinated again.

The vaccine must be an inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine that is approved in the country of use.

You must get regular rabies booster vaccinations for your pet. Check your animal health certificate to find out when the booster vaccination is due.

Your pet’s vaccination record in their animal health certificate must show:
- your pet’s date of birth
- microchip number, date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
- vaccination date
- vaccine manufacturer and product name
- vaccine batch number
- date the vaccination is valid until
- the vet’s signature and contact details
Your pet can be stopped from travelling if the details in their animal health certificate are in the wrong place.

Microchipping your pet

You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they will need to be vaccinated again. Microchipping for pet travel can only be done by:
- a vet
- a vet nurse, student vet or student vet nurse (directed by a vet)
- someone trained in microchipping before 29 December 2014, and with practical experience
- someone who has been assessed on an approved training course - contact the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) if the course was in Northern Ireland
- Make sure your vet puts the microchip number in your animal health certificate. The date must be before your pet’s vaccinations.

Arriving in Spain

When you arrive in Spain you will pass through a travellers point of entry at which point you m ay be asked for your pet’s animal health certificate along with proof of their:
-microchip
-rabies vaccination

Travelling with more than 5 pets

You cannot take more than 5 pets to Spain unless you are attending or training for a:
-competition
-show
-sporting event

You will need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.

All your pets must:
-be attending the event or training
-be over 6 months old
-meet all the other requirements for pet travel to Spain

Exporting Pet Food

Because the EU has strict rules about the importation of food, people bringing their pets to Spain are not allowed to carry pet food with them. They must purchase their pet food when they arrive in Europe.



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