Included in a pet passport will be a rabies vaccination certificate, multiple forms as well as the pet’s tattoo or microchip number. As there are different rules for the importing and exporting of animals for each country, check for details relating to the different destination locations as well as departure rules.
On 29th December 2014, design changes came into effect to upgrade the traceability as well as the security regarding the pet passports. These changes are included in a newly-styled passport which has the details of the veterinary surgeon who issued the vaccination certificates. It also has laminated strips which are designed to cover the pages containing the pet’s details, all the rabies vaccination entries as well as the microchip details. This will aid in preventing this information being tampered with once the veterinarian has completed it. These passports stay valid for the pet’s lifetime (or until all spaces for treatments are filled), so once you have a pet passport for your animal, there will be no need to obtain a new one.
Health requirements by some EU countries have exemptions for imports. Cats, dogs and ferrets who are younger than 90 days old don’t need a vaccination against rabies. Cats, dogs and ferrets who have up-to-date rabies vaccination certificates and whose owners are travelling with them, with no trade, sale or ownership change intended are exempted from requiring a veterinary inspection certificate.
An EU country which is a good example of having slightly differing rules regarding vaccinations for pets, is Austria. Each pet from another country going into Austria and travelling with their owner, such as cats, dogs and ferrets has to have been vaccinated against rabies and be identified. Each animal has to have their own certificate carried with them. Also, each animal that does not come from a third country, has to have had a rabies serological or titration test.
The originating country will decide on the procedure needed to be taken. Should the country of origin be a country which is rabies infected, e.g. US or Canada, microchipping certification as well as a rabies vaccination certificate that’s valid (vaccine for rabies has to be within one year of the importation), will be required.
A pet passport is also required by UK resident’s wishing to take their dog’s to Europe on holiday. This blue booklet, about the same size as your passport, has pages which contain your pet’s microchip number, blood tests, rabies vaccination details as well as tick/worm treatments that have been done. For a valid passport it is unnecessary for all pages to have been completed. Although there is a page where your dog’s photograph may be inserted, this is merely optional as your pet’s identification is done via the microchip.