You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they’ll need to be vaccinated again.
Microchipping for pet travel can only be done by:
- a vet
- a vet nurse, student vet or student vet nurse (directed by a vet)
- someone trained in microchipping before 29 December 2014, and with practical experience
- someone who has been assessed on an approved training course - contact the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) if the course was in Northern Ireland
Make sure your vet puts the microchip number in your pet passport or health certificate. The date must be before your pet’s vaccinations.
Reading the microchip
If you travel by air, train or ferry on approved routes, staff will check your microchip if it meets International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards ISO 11784 and ISO 11785.
If your pet’s microchip does not meet ISO standards, you may have to bring your own microchip reader when you travel. You should check with your travel company before you leave.
Your pet will be refused entry or put into quarantine if its microchip cannot be read when you enter or return to Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).
If the microchip cannot be read
You’ll have to do all the preparation again if your vet cannot read the microchip. This means you’ll have to ask your vet to:
- rechip your pet
- revaccinate your pet
- take new blood tests if you’re travelling from country that is not ‘listed’
- issue a new pet passport or health certificate
- record the old and new microchips in the ‘Marking of animals’ section of the new passport
You’ll have to wait the required time before you can travel if your pet is revaccinated or has new blood tests.
If the microchip can only sometimes be read
Your vet should try to read the microchip. If they get a reading, they can rechip your pet (the original chip is not removed).
This must be recorded in the current pet passport or a new passport with:
- the number of the old and new chips
- the date they were read
- the date the new chip was inserted
The vet must sign and stamp the page in the pet passport.
Your vet should record in the ‘Others’ section of the pet passport that your pet has been rechipped.
You do not need to have your pet microchipped if it’s been tattooed with an identification number and all of the following are true:
- your pet was tattooed on or before 3 July 2011
- the tattoo is clearly legible
- your pet was vaccinated against rabies after it was tattooed
Your vet must record the date of tattooing, the tattoo number and the date of the rabies vaccination in the pet passport or health certificate.