The Adventures of Django and Arya

Northern Ireland (NI)

Pet travel to Northern Ireland (NI) is subject to the rules of the European Union Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), making travelling with a pet dog or cat to Northern Ireland from another European Union (EU) country very simple. Following Brexit on 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the European Union (EU). This resulted in separate rules for the countries that form Great Britain (Scotland, England & Wales) and Northern Ireland (NI). Pet travel regulations were differentiated between Scotland, England & Wales and the EU and Northern Ireland in order to avoid a ‘hard’ border post-Brexit between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The good news is, that if you’re travelling between Northern Ireland, and countries in the EU, pet travel rules remain unchanged. However, there are now different regulations for taking a cat, dog or ferret to GB from NI. For pet travel purposes, be aware that NI remains a member of the EU Pet Travel Scheme despite no longer being an EU member state.

If you reside in a non-EU country, the requirements for entering NI with a pet dog, cat or ferret are clearly stipulated for countries outside the European Union too. Be aware that you cannot fly a dog, cat or any other animal into Northern Ireland in the cabin of a plane, pets can only arrive in the hold.

If you’re taking your dog on an Irish adventure soon, or relocating to Northern Ireland with your cat, here’s the information you need for importing a pet to NI.

Pet travel to Northern Ireland from another EU country

In order to travel from another EU member state to Northern Ireland, your cat, dog or ferret must have:

  • A working Microchip (in line with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets), or has a clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011
  • been vaccinated against Rabies
  • a valid EU issued Pet Passport

Pet travel to NI from a non-EU country

With a few exceptions, your pet dog or cat can travel with you to NI from a non-EU country if they have:

You can also use a Pet Passport issued in one of the following countries to travel to NI:

  • Andorra
  • Switzerland
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City State

Travelling to Northern Ireland with more than 5 pets

Under the rules of the EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), you can enter NI with up to 5 pets as long as each pet meets the stated requirements for travel. If you are travelling to NI with more than five pets (dogs, cats or ferrets) you must provide proof that:

  • they are participating in a competition, exhibition or sporting event (by providing for example a registration document) and
  • they are more than 6 months old

Pet-Friendly travel options to NI by plane, train & ferry

Available options for travel to Northern Ireland with a cat, dog or ferret depend on your country of origin. However, you’ll be pleased to know that pet transport methods to NI are widely available, including airlines, ferry companies and train services.

Travelling from the Great Britain to NI with a pet

As the United Kingdom (UK) is no longer part of the European Union (EU) following Brexit, the regulations for taking a cat, dog or ferret from the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland) to NI changed. This resulted in separate rules for the countries that form Great Britain (Scotland, England & Wales) and Northern Ireland (NI). Pet travel regulations were differentiated between Scotland, England & Wales and the EU and Northern Ireland in order to avoid a ‘hard’ border post-Brexit between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Some of the airlines, ferry companies and trains offering pet friendly routes from NI and the UK to continental Europe are:

Importing a pet to NI from Scotland, England or Wales

  1. You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped.
  2. Vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
  3. Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
  4. Visit your vet to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.
  5. Remember that if you’re taking your dog to NI, on your return to the UK your pooch will need a Tapeworm Treatment 1 to 5 days before arriving on UK soil. Your vet must enter full details on the AHC following treatment.

Pets travelling without their owner

As a rule, pets imported to Northern Ireland must travel with their owner. However, the owner may give written permission to another person to accompany their cat, dog or ferret on their behalf. In this case, the owner must be reunited with their pet within 5 days of the cat or dog’s relocation.

Remember to leave a review if you’ve travelled to NI with your pet cat or dog!

Check out pet friendly attractions, hotels, beaches and parks in NI.

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