Moving Dogs Across National Borders

OBLIGATIONS AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES of Rescues and rehoming organisations

Moving Dogs across National Borders


Rescuing and/or homing dogs accorss national borders can be a complicated undertaking. If you relocate a dog with the purpose of changing its ownership, will be deemed a commercial movement of that animal, even if your intention is to rescue the dog. This means that complex legal rules rules can apply

The exact rule that are applicable  will depend on the journey, and even sometimes the direction of travel. Different rules apply in each of the following scenarios:

Moving dogs out of Northern Ireland into Great Britain

Moving dogs into Northern Ireland out of the Great Britain &

Moving dogs within the EU (this includes movement of dogs between the Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI))

Moving dogs into Northern Ireland from another country that is neither the UK nor an EU Member State (a Third Country).

While different rules will also apply to rehoming a dog from Northern Ireland to a Third Country, those movements are likely to be very rare and if you are considering/ involved in those kinds of rehoming operations, we would suggest   that you take specialist legal advice.[S[1]

Currently it  remains  lawful to import into Northern Ireland a dog which has had its ears cropped abroad. This, however, is a loophole in animal welfare laws which many animal welfare organisations are continuing to lobby against and so this may be subject to change in the near future.