(EU Pet Passport Scheme)
A Pet Passport is the popular name for the Pet Travel Scheme that originated in Europe but now which extends to other parts of the world. The idea being that if a pet can be easily and comprehensively identified (and confirmed) as having had a rabies vaccination, then the pet is able to travel between countries that have signed up to the Pet Travel Scheme, without the need for quarantine. The way pet's identity is verified is through a microchip that is fitted under the skin of an animal and this chip can then be easily read by a wand scanner that is passed over the location of the chip, but which does not make physical contact with it. Your pet does not feel any discomfort when being scanned and the microchip's presence under the skin does not cause infection or ongoing irritation. Once read, your pet's electronic ID can then be searched online to confirm your pet's details and rabies status.
Generally the same regulations are in place regarding health requirements- every pet, irrespective of whether it has already had a rabies vaccination, must be vaccinated once a microchip has been fitted. 21 days must elapse from rabies vaccination to export. The whole process is carried out by an authorised vet who will issue the AHC following the rabies vaccination and pre-export health check. The AHC is valid for travel within the EU for 4 months. Further information about AHCs can be found on the UK government website Taking your pet to an EU Country
Micro chipping for all dogs in England, Wales & Scotland was made compulsory in 2016 (it was already the case in Northern Ireland from 2012). This news has been welcomed by the Dogs Trust and RSPCA. If a dog is lost it can be quickly identified by a scanner connected to a PC with Internet access because all chipped pet data is held in country specific pet databases.
Dogs and cats are the most common of pets to be micro chipped but rabbits and many others can also benefit from micro chipping. Birds, horses, reptiles (such as snakes and tortoises), fish and almost any small mammals can all be micro chipped by your local Vet. You never need to lose your pet because they, and you as their owner, can be quickly identified.