Pet Travel Scheme

Travelling abroad

UK travel

The Pet Travel Scheme rules are changing on 1st January 2012 to bring the UK in line with other European Union nations. These changes will make travelling with your pet to most countries a lot easier and will reduce the need for pets to spend time in quarantine kennels. These rules apply to all cats, dogs and ferrets.

Until the 1st January, all animals entering the UK will have to comply with the current regulations of microchipping, a rabies vaccination with appropriate blood sample following, a wait of 6 months post blood sampling and tick and tapeworm treatment 24-48 hours before entry to the UK. Because it is less than 6 months before the new regulations come into effect, this really only applies to animals who have been travelling previously.

From 1st January 2012

Although the rules will make travelling easier, the individual regulations are dependent on the country you are travelling from.

Travelling from EU countries or non-EU listed countries

Before any other procedures are carried out, your pet will need to be microchipped. This involves the implantation of a small metallic chip encoded with a unique number between their shoulder blades. This number ensures that your pet can be properly identified.

Your pet will then need to be vaccinated against rabies. This can usually be done from 12 weeks of age but check with your vet. The rabies vaccination MUST be given after the microchip is implanted, if your pet is already vaccinated but has not been microchipped, the vaccine will have to be given again after microchipping. After the initial vaccination, it is very important not to let your pet’s rabies booster become overdue, even by 1 day, as this will require a new passport to be made up.

21 days after the initial rabies vaccination has been given, your pet will be able to travel into the UK. He will need official documentation stating his microchip number and vaccination details. If coming from within the European Union, this documentation will have the form of an EU Pet Passport. If travelling from a listed non-EU country, you will need an official third country veterinary certificate.

There is likely to still be a requirement for tapeworm controls shortly before arriving in the UK, although these requirements have not been made public at this stage. Tick treatment will no longer be required (although is still recommended).

All pets entering the UK need to travel with an approved company on an authorised route. This ensures that all the relevant paperwork is checked appropriately. Click here for details of authorised routes.

Travelling from unlisted countries

Before any other procedures are carried out, your pet will need to be microchipped. This involves the implantation of a small metallic chip encoded with a unique number between their shoulder blades. This number ensures that your pet can be properly identified.

Your pet will then need to be vaccinated against rabies. This can usually be done from 12 weeks of age but check with your vet. The rabies vaccination MUST be given after the microchip is implanted, if your pet is already vaccinated but has not been microchipped, the vaccine will have to be given again after microchipping. After the initial vaccination, it is very important not to let your pet’s rabies booster become overdue, even by 1 day, as this will require a new passport to be made up.

At least 30 days after vaccination, a blood test will be required to make sure that the vaccine has provided a good level of protection against rabies. Three calendar months after a satisfactory blood sample, your pet will be able to enter the UK.

You will then need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate to prove that all relevant procedures have been followed.

There is likely to still be a requirement for tapeworm controls shortly before arriving in the UK, although these requirements have not been made public at this stage. Tick treatment will no longer be required (although is still recommended).

All pets entering the UK need to travel with an approved company on an authorised route. This ensures that all the relevant paperwork is checked appropriately. Click here for details of authorised routes.

Further information

  • Defra website – all the up-to-date information about entry regulations
 

Author: Helen

Published: 2011-10-21

Last modified: 2011-10-21


Disclaimer

This website should not be used as a substitute for personal professional advice and if your animal is sick, I would urge you to book an appointment with your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. I will endeavour to keep the information on this site as accurate and up to date as possible, however I cannot be held liable for problems occurring from incorrect use of this information.

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