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.
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.
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.
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!