What a health certificate for the export of horses is
Equine animals, such as horses or donkeys, need a health certificate if they are being exported to EU countries or to third countries outside the EU. The health certificate contains information on the planned journey and the medical condition of the animals.
When to apply
Equines being exported to EU countries, including those for slaughter, require an official EU health certificate issued by this Department.
If travelling through the UK a transit licence may be required. Please contact DEFRA at 0044 8459335577 for information.
When exporting equines to third countries via the EU, a third country certificate for travelling outside the EU is needed together with an official EU health certificate for travel within the EU — both issued by this Department. Horses requiring a health certificate must be inspected at Dublin or Rosslare Ports or Dublin or Shannon airports by an official veterinarian. Such consignments will be liable for a veterinary inspection fee.
France and the UK
Exports to France of equines which comply with higher health standards do not require an EU health certificate when they have been issued with an equivalent document - known as a DOCOM - by approved bloodstock bodies, however they must travel with their passports. Official welfare inspections will continue to be conducted on a random basis.
Until at least 31 December 2020, EU rules will continue to apply to the UK, and the UK will remain part of the EU's Single Market. Current EU rules on movement of horses between Ireland and the UK will apply during the transition period.
Horses, other than horses for slaughter, which require pre-export inspection and veterinary certification, moving between Ireland and the UK do not require a pre-export inspection or veterinary certification but, as with all movements of equines, they must have a valid passport.
Exporters wishing to export equines requiring a health certificate must apply using the forms below not less than 3 working days in advance of the intended date of export.
The form must be completed in full and accompanied by a health certificate issued by a private veterinary practitioner and dated within 10 days of the date of export and a copy of markings from the animal's passport, together with laboratory test results where required for a third country.
Health certificate application forms
Use this form to apply for a health certificte to export horses to other EU member states:
Application for Health Certificate for Export of Horses to EU Countries
This is the form used to apply for a health certificate for the export of horses to EU member states.