The movement of dogs, cats and ferrets across Europe is governed by two key pieces of legislation:
- Regulation (EC) no 576/2013 (formerly 998/2003) provides for the non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and ferrets
- The Balai Directive 92/65/EEC provides for the commercial movement of dogs and cats (among others)
In order to move across Europe all dogs must comply with the veterinary preparations required for travel under the EU pet travel scheme: microchip, rabies vaccination (21 day wait if first rabies vaccination), pet passport. The only greyhounds permitted to travel under Regulation (EC) no 576/2013 are greyhounds which are accompanying their owners or a person responsible for such animals on behalf of the owner during their movement.
Greyhounds being moved for the purpose of change of ownership must comply with the Balai Directive 92/65/EEC and comply with both the veterinary preparations required for travel under the EU pet travel scheme (see below section) plus:
- Travel from a holding or business registered with the EU member state of origin
- Be accompanied by a ‘fit and healthy to travel’ certificate issued by a vet authorised by the competent authority confirming that a clinical examination was carried out no more than 48 hours before travel
- AHVLA must be notified of the movement and the animal may be subject to an inspection at the place of destination. This means the animals must remain at their point of destination in the UK for at least 48 hours in order to facilitate inspection visits by AHVLA
- In addition, movement must also comply with Council Regulation 1/2005 (Welfare of Animals during Transport).
Trading Standards have the power to detain and seize animals that are found to be non-compliant during the course of their inland investigations.
Regulation no 576/2013 (Pet Passport)
- All dogs, cats and ferrets prepared for travel between EU member states are issued with a pet passport. This passport includes security features such as laminated strips to cover the pet’s details (including the microchip number) and each rabies vaccination entry. The issuing vet needs to fill in their details on a new ‘issuing of the passport’ page and must make sure that all their contact details are included when they certify vaccinations. Any passport issued before the 29 December 2014 will remain valid for the lifetime of the greyhound, or until the treatment spaces are filled.
- Any vet issuing a passport needs to keep a record of the information entered into the passport relating to: the microchip; the details of the greyhound; the owner’s contact details and the pet passport number. This information needs to be retained for at least three years.
- Owners (or person responsible for such animals) travelling with more than five greyhounds must travel under the rules laid down by the Balai Directive unless the animals are aged over six months and are travelling to attend a show/competition/training event or training for such an event. They will need to present written evidence of their registration.
- All EU countries are required to carry out documentary and identity checks on pet movements within the EU.
Movement from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to Northern Ireland (NI)
There is a requirement in legislation for domestic animals moving between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to comply with EU pet travel regulations. The authorities in these jurisdictions enforce these requirements based on risk and, therefore, given the negligible risk of rabies there is no border check on animals moving from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland.
Direct Movement from Northern Ireland to Great Britain
This is considered movement within a member state (United Kingdom) and the requirements of the EU Pet Travel Scheme do not apply.
Importing Greyhounds from Ireland
If purchasing greyhounds from Ireland and they are transported under Balai (see above) the imported greyhounds should be checked by an Animal and Plant Health Inspector.
Written notification of your consignment should be emailed to the APHA office that’s closest to your destination 24 hours before the greyhounds are scheduled to arrive (Download the form here). A list of local APHA offices can be found at:
This must include:
- the name, address and phone number of the destination
- the expected date and time of arrival at the destination
- the number of animals, their breed, their sex, their passport number (if applicable) or their identification
- the name and address of the place the animals came from
- the date
- the signature of the person responsible for the consignment
You must make sure the original health certificates travel with the consignment to the destination, and are kept by the person who ordered the consignment.
The transporter should keep the journey log and animal transport certificate.
The animals must be taken directly to the place of destination that you’ve named on the health certificate and rested for 48 hours before moving them again.
Non-Commercial Movement (Greyhound travelling with responsible person (including transporter) and returning to Irish owner / breeder)
As long as the greyhound has a passport in the name of its owner in Ireland the greyhound will require the following to return to Ireland from the UK:
A valid pet passport and vaccinations.
If the dog is not accompanied by its owner (as named in the passport) it must be accompanied by a responsible person authorised in writing by the owner (this can include commercial transporters providing the animals are not being sold).
See form (website only) – Model Pet Declaration for Pets Travelling with a Responsible Person
Registration of Premises under Balai Directive 92/65/EEC if exporting greyhounds to Ireland
See form (website only) – Registration of Premises under Balai Directive (Export e.g. GB to ROI)
Application for Veterinary Heath Certification for Export of Live Animals
See form (website only) – Application for Veterinary Health Certification for Export of Live Animals