Europe — TRACES
TRACES (the Trade Control and Expert System) is used to notify EU member states of the movement of live animals through their territories. You’ll need to use TRACES if:
- you’re adopting a pet from a shelter in another EU country
- you’re acquiring a pet from a breeder in another EU country
- you have more than five pets travelling
In these cases your pet or pets must be recorded on TRACES a few days before they leave by a government vet in the departure country. The departure address or organisation must be recognised as suitable and be approved by the government vet.
The TRACES entry will generate an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) which must be included with the pet’s passport.
You must inform your nearest Animal Health Office at least 24 hours before the pet or pets are due to arrive in the destination country. In the UK, this will be an AHVLA office (part of Defra). The Animal Health Office has the right to visit the pet within 48 hours of its arrival.
You can consult TRACES information published by Defra. Each EU country interprets the TRACES rules slightly differently, so you should check the TRACES information published by the government in both the departure and arrival countries.
Additional certificates for live animal export may also be required by the exporting country. Read UK government guidance here.
Some departure countries impose additional local requirements, for example:
- neutering of the pet before departure
- an official adoption certificate from the local municipality or breeder showing the new owner’s details
non-EU countries: Animal health certificate
For dogs, cats, ferrets and assistance dogs entering the UK from a listed or unlisted country without a valid pet passport: Animal health certificate (AHC)