New Pet Passports - Check Carefully

Having just arrived in the UK from home in France, I thought this might be of interest. Flossie the airedale terrier is a regular traveller with us, and our vet completed the last voyage in her second pet passport on Friday before we left. Knowing how easily mistakes can occur (missing date, times and practice stamps for example), and what a pain they can be, I asked him for the new passport without mentioning that I intended to ask Pet Control at the Tunnel to check it was properly completed. The lady on duty was happy to look at the new one, but said it could not be used! She said that too many of the new format pet passports have not been completed correctly by the vets, who hadn’t got used to them yet. As one page has to be covered by an adhesive plastic sheet after completion, they cannot be updated but must be replaced completely. If you are about to obtain a new pet passport, it is worth going through it with the vet as he completes it.

Here are the points where vets are getting it wrong:

Page 4: Full name, address and Code Postal of the animal’s owner MUST be entered. Phone numbers are optional. Owner has to sign it.

Page 5: You don’t have to provide a photo, but items 1 to 6 must be completed - the vet can take your word for the name, breed and date of birth.

Page 6: It is important to get this page right as the vet has to cover it with plastic to prevent updating later.

  1. The microchip code must be entered - the dog will be checked on leaving France. Check the 15-digit code is correct. Once the UK vet made an error and I insisted he signed and stamped the correction.

  2. The date of implantation of the microchip MUST be entered. NOT when it was last checked. (A common mistake, I am told). You may have to provide this if you are not with the vet who implanted it.

  3. Position of the microchip (this can be important as in the UK chips are inserted between the shoulders, and in France they are usually one side or the other!)

4-6. These points only apply to tattooed identifications, and MUST be completed if the animal is not chipped.

Page 7: Our vet omitted all this. He has to give his name, full address, phone number and email address, and the date he issues the new passport. The page must be signed and stamped with his practice stamp.

Page 8: This, the Rabies page, apparently causes the most confusion. The vet has to complete the make and name of the vaccine, its batch number and the date of the vaccination or booster and its validity from and until dates, as on the old style passport. However, he also has to WRITE IN the Vet’s name, address and phone number and sign it. He MUST NOT stamp it because that would make the contact information illegible.

Page 14: This concerns the blood test after the initial rabies jab. It MUST be completed (as in the old style passport) if this is the first time the dog has travelled abroad. It doesn’t have to be entered for subsequent passports, but I always sellotape the old and new ones together so anyone who needs to can refer to the old passport if they need to check the blood test details.

Page 16: Worm treatment: As in the old style passport, the maker and product name must be entered in the first column, the date and time in the second and the Vet’s signature and practice stamp in the third.

The other pages do not seem to be required unless the destination country insists, and don’t relate to the UK. For French-resident animals the final section enables their annual booster injections to be logged for distemper, hardpad, parvo etc.(as in the old-style passport but in a new position) and we have always asked UK and French vets to complete these as we could be in either country on the anniversary of the last one and each vet then knows what the other has used. Depending on the age of the animal and vaccine, not all need to be given every year.

Next time we travel to the UK we will allow plenty of time for the new passport to be completed, and check it carefully. Our vet is no fool, but only issues one or two passports a year (or perhaps none at all) and only completes voyage details for a few tourists and a couple of UK families resident nearby. I think this was the first of the new-style passports he has completed - it will not be the last!

Hope these notes will prevent delays at the French ports and a frantic search for a vet and a hotel, which would both be required if the new passport were declined by Pet Control. Bon Voyage!

Having read this, I got my dog’s passport out to check! The page relating to the microchip (page 6) says “Date of application or reading”, delete as necessary. It would be impossible for my vet to enter the date the chip was implanted as our dog is a rescue. He already had a microchip but his previous owners couldn’t be traced, so our vet has used the date of reading. We had no problems when we took him to France in December 2015 and June 2016, so I’m hoping nothing has changed. Fingers crossed!

Flossie has made 30 visits to the UK now, and the way the staff apply the rules does vary a lot, so we have adopted the “worst case scenario” attitude! One reason for chipping dogs is so their owners can be traced, if the animal is lost or stolen and then abandoned. Have you updated the database with your address? How did you do this? Flossie was registered at our son’s address in the UK as she was born there, and he could handle enquiries if needed, but we haven’t changed it and probably should. We found that to look up her records was free, but we would have to upgrade her membership and pay a fee to change her address, which seems unnecessarily complicated, and suggests that the databases may not be very reliable at all.

Our last dog (also a rescue) had filled 3 passports before he died, and we didn’t have any problems with his passports at all. Rio, our new dog, has made 2 visits between France and UK so far. The problem with the database is that it relies on owners being responsible and notifying changes of address and, of course, many don’t. We are Rio’s 3rd family and his first owners sent him to a refuge, so I doubt they bothered updating the details. His 2nd family returned him to the refuge, so if either of them moved, there would be no way of tracing them through the database. Changing address on Petlog is simple enough (and if you pay a £16 fee for Premium service you can change your details online for free for the lifetime of your dog). Change of keepership requires a transfer code, but if you don’t have the transfer code from the previous owner, the transfer has to be done by post, and the fee is £16.

Can I take it that this is about a ‘French’ Pet Passport ?, as the one we use (issued in the UK) is blue, has the EU badge, says European Union’ ‘UNITED KINGDOM’, but has different pages, and no adhesive plastic sheet.

Or is it that I have the ‘old’ type of Passport ?, as he has only been back to the UK 7 times in the last 3 years, and that there is space for more entries to be filled in ?

It’s the new design for the EU Pet Passport, Tony. You carry on using your current one until it’s full up, and its replacement will be the new style which is confusing the vets and the owners so much. As you are only half way through it, everyone should know how to complete the new one by the time you need one!

Many thanks, I’ll now go back to worrying about the Barn Roof and 3 Phase, etc, etc :slight_smile:

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Thanks for this information, it´s really useful, but now I have some doubts and some disagreements with our dog´s vet about 3 pages in the passport. I opened a new thread, I would be grateful if you could share you experiences. Thanks

I’ve moved to France and one of my dogs’ passport was issued in England and has the old address. Should I issue a new one or just fill in the space for the 2nd owner with the new address?

My other dog is a rescue from Macedonia and her passport was issued in Bulgaria and has the transporter name as the owner. Should I issue a new passport or, as above, could I simply fill in the 2nd owner info fields with mine?

Thank you for your help!