Reader question: I have an EU pet passport for my dog as we have a house in France. Does this mean that the rabies vaccine has to be done in France or can it be added here in Scotland?
Only a vet registered in an EU country can add proof of a rabies vaccination to your EU pet passport.
This was confirmed to The Connexion by the French Agriculture Ministry.
Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital in the UK states that UK vets can administer a rabies vaccination to your pet but cannot include details of it in an EU pet passport.
It means that if your pet’s rabies vaccine expires while you are in the UK, you will need to get an Animal Health Certificate in order to return to France where you can have your dog re-vaccinated against rabies.
Additionally, you will not be able to travel with your pet until three weeks after the date of the rabies vaccination.
Note that rabies vaccines in the UK are usually valid for three years, while the majority of rabies vaccines in France are only valid for one year.
You can read more about the validity length of rabies vaccines in our article here: Rabies shot for dogs: How often is it required for France-UK travel?
EU pet passports and British second homeowners in France
British EU pet passports ceased to be valid from January 1, 2021, due to the UK leaving the EU.
Now, pet-owners who previously had British pet passports have two options if they wish to travel to the EU with their animals.
They can visit a vet in the UK for an animal health certificate (AHC), valid for up to four months for a single trip, onward travel in the EU and re-entry. These can typically cost around £100 each, plus any treatments and vaccinations the pet may need.
Or, those who are residents in France or who are eligible to stay in the country for more than three months at a time via a visa, can change to getting an EU pet passport.
An EU pet passport issued in France will cost between €15 to €20, and can be used for up to 28 trips, including to the UK, where it is valid.
Shortly after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU some French vets were offering EU pet passports to British citizens with second homes in France.
However, I-CAD, an agency of the French Agriculture Ministry, has since clarified its rules on this.
It states that in order to have a French EU pet passport, the pet must be registered by the owner with I-CAD's French pet register – done via a French vet – and have a French ID card from the service.
It states also that for this to be possible the pet must be due to stay in France for more than three consecutive months, ie. longer than the maximum for UK visitors without a visa.