The importation of pets into Ireland has always been strictly controlled to
ensure that diseases such as rabies are not introduced. A new harmonised EU
system of "Passports
for Pets" allows cats, dogs and ferrets to travel between EU Member
States. This EU Pet Passport certifies that the pet has been identified by means
of a microchip and vaccinated against rabies. For travel to Ireland the pet
needs a blood test (called an “antibody titration”) to certify that the rabies
vaccination has worked. The pet also needs to be treated for tick and tapeworm
between 24 and 48 hours before travel to Ireland. This new system came into
effect in Ireland in 2004.
Pets from EU member states (except the UK)
If you want to import a dog or cat into Ireland from any EU member state, except for the UK (see below), the pet animal must have an EU Pet Passport, (this document is the same throughout the EU). The Passport certifies that:
- The pet is travelling from an eligible country.
- The pet is identified by an implanted microchip.
- The pet has been successfully blood-tested for rabies anti-bodies at least six months before entry.
- The pet has been vaccinated against rabies.
- The pet has been treated for tick and tapeworm. The pet must be treated between 24 and 48 hours before travel and the time and date of treatment must be entered on the passport.
In addition, the pet must travel on an approved carrier on an approved route with its owner or with a person acting on behalf of the owner (unaccompanied pets cannot travel to Ireland under the EU Pet Passport System). The Irish Department of Agriculture has a useful checklist of questions to ask before travelling with your pet.
Pets from qualifying third countries
If you want to import a dog or cat into Ireland from a
qualifying third country, the pet animal must undergo the following in
Pets from all other non-eligible countries
- Be microchipped (this must be done before anything else).
- Be vaccinated for rabies (may be done on the same day as microchipping).
- Be bloodtested after rabies vaccination and microchipping at least six months before entry (the pet must have a result greater than 0.5 IU/ml).
- Be treated for tick and tapeworm between 24 and 48 hours before departure.
- Have a Veterinary Certificate (passport) issued or endorsed by the competent authority in the country of origin.
- Be accompanied by the owner (or person acting on their behalf) on an approved carrier into Ireland.
If you want to import a dog or cat into Ireland from a country other than one eligible for the EU Pet Passport System, you must have an import licence from the Department of Agriculture and Food. The pet will be required to spend six months in the public quarantine in Ireland.
There is only one approved public quarantine premises: Lissenhall Quarantine Kennels and Catteries, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin, Tel: +353 1 8900375, Fax: +353 1 8409338. Animals must spend their six-month quarantine here.
The animal must be transported by air to Ireland and land at Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports and be brought on by air to Dublin if necessary. Transport from the airport to the quarantine must be undertaken by the sole authorised carrying agent: Kelly Couriers, 30 Selskar Avenue, Skerries, Co. Dublin. Telephone: +353-1-8490807 Fax: +353-1-8029801.
This arrangement is to be undertaken by the owner.
All costs (quarantine, veterinary fees, transport etc.) must be met by the owner. Arrangements for quarantine and transport must be in place before an import licence is granted. The animal may not travel without an import licence.
Pets from qualifying countries and not prepared for the EU Pet Passport System
If you want to import a dog or cat into Ireland from a country eligible under the EU Pet Passport System but the pet has not been fully prepared, you must have an import licence. The pet will:
- be put in approved public quarantine in Ireland for at least six months
- or be put in approved public quarantine for one month and then approved 'private quarantine' for a further five months.
The second option is only available if the animal has come from a qualifying country and meets certain requirements when the one-month quarantine is finished. The animal may be 'quarantined' for the further five months at the owner's residence, provided there is a suitable facility there and approval has been given in advance of the importation by the Veterinary Inspectorate of the Department of Agriculture and Food. The animal and the premises will be subject to further inspection by private veterinary surgeons during the five-month period.
You should apply for approval for such premises at least three months before bringing the animal to Ireland. More information on private quarantine is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Animals coming from the UK
Animals coming to Ireland from the UK (or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) are not subject to the quarantine or passport requirements. In effect, there is a common travel zone between Ireland and the UK and dogs and cats can move freely within that zone provided they do not travel outside it.
How to apply
If you are importing a pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from an EU member state/territory, you should arrange for your veterinarian to microchip, vaccinate and then bloodtest the pet in that order, and obtain an EU Pet Passport from the competent authority in the EU member state of origin.
If you are importing a pet cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from a qualifying
third country, you should arrange for your veterinarian to microchip, vaccinate
and then bloodtest the pet in that order.
If you are bringing an animal to Ireland from a country other than an EU member state or qualifying third country, you should send the Import Licence Application Form which includes an "Application for Licence Form " (Form A) and a "Form of Declaration and Health" (Form B) to the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Contact a local veterinarian or the competent authority for information on the Veterinary Certificate for Domestic Dogs, Cats and Ferrets entering the European Community.
Further information regarding the importation of pets (other than cats/dogs)
to Ireland is available from the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department
of Agriculture and Food.
Where to apply
Department of Agriculture and FoodDept.:
Special Projects Unit
Floor 4 Centre
Tel: + 353 1 607 2827
Locall: 1890 504 604