Health Certificates

Currently (September 2013) a clinical examination or health certificate is not required for transport under the PETS Travel Scheme (see AHVLA letter below), but, and it is a significant but in our view, a number of times we have been asked to provide Health Certificates at the pet passport office in Calais.

Each time we have been told that it was a ‘new’ initiative and that information was available on the DEFRA site and that the certificates were available in a number of languages. Personally I am convinced that they have confused this with the TRACES health certificates as laid down in Part 1 of Annex E to Directive 92/65/EEC that confirms 24 hours before dispatch a clinical examination was carried out by a vet authorised by the competent authority showing that the animal is fit and healthy to travel.

We know that the authorities are going to look at the PETS Travel Scheme in due course.

According to DIRECTIVE 2013/31/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 June 2013 amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC as regards the animal health requirements governing intra-Union trade in and imports into the Union of dogs, cats and ferrets from January 2015 all pets maybe subject to much tighter restrictions when moved between EU countries.

ALStrays Transport have decided to request a Health Certificate for EVERY cat or dog being transported under the PETS Travel Scheme from the 1st September 2013. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • the times we have been asked for them at pet passport we have been told that failure to produce them would result in the animals having to be returned to Spain. We do not think this is a risk worth taking.
  • we have become increasing concerned at the number of pets that are being transported back to the UK as people return from Spain with the minimum of preparation. Too often time and (lack of) money mean that pets are not being tested against leishmania and other common disease. The resultant risk of transporting an unhealthy dog (or cat) into the UK is too high, considering the potential consequences for all involved in the re-homing and transport of both Pets and Rescue Animals, as well as to the animal itself.
  • as a transporter our primary consideration is the safety of the animals we transport and we are concerned that the lack of control and proper preparstion, could lead to us transporting animals that are not fit to travel, and that could be a risk to other animals on the transport.

We have given a lot of thought to introducing health certificates as they will add a extra administration for both the owner and ourselves, but we feel very strongly that they will provide greater, guidelines, control and peace of mind for clients that all the Pets have been prepared properly. Just as a pet owner wouldn’t want their pet to catch anything on a transport, neither would they want to be responsible for their pet passing on a disease or illness, and surely everyone wants to ensure that their pet is fit to travel?

By way of example a cat does not require to be wormed before it enters the UK, but we think that is wrong as surely it is safer if all pets on a transport have been wormed. Similarly with tick and flea treatments which are not mandatory even for dogs entering the UK. These treatments not only remove these parasites from your pet, they also protect against them being infected, so again surely it is better for everybody that all pets have been treated?

Now let us be clear. We are NOT imposing new regulations onto the pets we transport. As concerned and caring pet owners we would hope that you shared our views, but we can not insist that you do. What we do want to do is ensure that the pets are fit to travel, and that we have a vet’s confirmation of the fact, and when the various treatments were administered (or not).

We will not refuse to transport a dog that has leishmania and is being treated; we may refuse to transport a dog that hasn’t been tested for leishmania or other tick related diseases (depending on where it has lived). We will also transport FiV and FeLV positive cats, as long as they are asymptomatic and fit to travel.

We have produced two health certificates, one for pet cats and one for pet dogs, that you can download and take to your regular vet to complete, stamp and sign. Please note that the vet must use a different colour ink when they complete their section to that used for the main section of the form.

You can download the Dog Health Certificate here

You can download the Cat Health Certificate here

And Finally these are NOT a substitute or replacement for the official health certificate that is required for a TRACES transport. They need to be obtained from your local government vet and completed by them as per the TRACES process.

AHVLA Letter

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your email received on the 24th June 2013 regarding the requirement for a health certificate.

Please be advised that under the Pet Travel Scheme a clinical examination/health certificate is not required. However we usually advise pet owners that some transport companies may still require them to produce evidence of an animal’s fitness to travel, and so they should contact their chosen carrier to see if this is the case.

Please also be aware that if a pet is travelling outside of the EU, some non-EU countries may require a health certificate as part of their lawful entry requirements.


Michelle Allison
Imports Team
Specialist Service Centre for International Trade
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA)
Hadrian House
Wavell Drive

For further information please check the Defra website


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