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Travel with your pets - the rules have changed

Go Local - january2012

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Pet Travel rules changed on 1 January 2012

Pet travel rules changed on 1 January 2012 when the UK brought its procedures into line with the European Union. From this date all pets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.

 

From 1 January 2012 all pet dogs, cats and ferrets (including guide and hearing dogs) can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.

Animals which do not meet all the rules must be licensed into quarantine until they are compliant. They might then be able to obtain early release if they can be shown to comply with the necessary pet travel requirements.

What you need to do

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What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries

Preparing your dog, cat or ferret

  • Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped – Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.
  • Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated – After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.
  • Step 3 – Get pet travel documentation – For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport. If you are preparing your animal in a non-EU listed country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate (apart from Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland who also issue pet passports).
  • Step 4 – Tapeworm treatment – (dogs only): before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta).
  • Step 5 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the Republic of Ireland

  • Under the EU pet movement system, all pet dogs, cats and ferrets moving between EU Member States must meet the same animal health rules. From 1January 2012 the requirement is that all pets travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK should be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and accompanied by a pet passport
  • As both the Republic of Ireland and the UK have had no indigenous rabies for many decades, compliance checks on pets travelling between the two countries will not be applied. Pet owners travelling with their pets should therefore not experience any change on the ground from the 1 January.

What you need to do if you are entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries

Preparing your dog, cat or ferret

  • Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped – Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.
  • Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated – After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date.
  • Step 3 – Arrange a blood test – After your pet has been vaccinated, it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given it a satisfactory level of protection against rabies. The blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after vaccination. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is three calendar months from the date your vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result. The three month waiting period will not apply if your pet was vaccinated and blood tested in the EU and issued with an EU pet passport before it went to an unlisted country.
  • Step 4 – Get pet travel documentation –You will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate.
  • Step 5 – Tapeworm treatment– (dogs only): before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta).
  • Step 6 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

What you need to do if you are entering the UK from an unlisted non-EU country via an EU or non-EU listed country

  • Under the new rules a pet from an unlisted country, whether directly or via a non-EU country, will be allowed to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the EU entry requirements detailed above (microchip, vaccinated against rabies, blood sample 30 days after vaccination and then three months wait).
  • As pet travel rules for entry to the UK will be the same as the rest of the EU there is no advantage in entering another EU country before onward transfer to the UK i.e to avoid quarantine.

What you need to do if you are re-entering the UK (or another EU country) from an unlisted country with an EU pet passport

  • Pets travelling to an unlisted third country that have been identified, vaccinated and blood sampled 30 days after vaccination and can show a positive titration result before leaving the UK (or other Member State) may re-enter the UK without having to meet the 3 month waiting period. The vaccination, blood sample and positive titration result must be recorded on the pet passport which is required to be shown on re-entry into the EU.

What you need to do if you are travelling from the UK to an EU country after arriving from a non-EU country

  • If you plan to continue travelling to another EU country under the Pet Travel Scheme with your dog, cat or ferret after you have arrived in the UK you can use your third country veterinary certificate to do so until it expires.
  • Alternatively, you can apply to a Local Veterinary Inspector for an EU pet passport. You are recommended to do this if you wish to return to the UK.
  • The passport will be issued on production of your pet’s third country official veterinary certificate, its vaccination record and a copy of the blood test certificate (unlisted countries only) – all of which must show your pet’s microchip number.

What you need to do if you are travelling with more than five pets

  • The number of pets that can be moved between EU Member States – including into and out of the UK – is limited to five per person, unless you are taking part in a competition, show or sporting event.
  • These animals will require a specific health certificate issued by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Applications for the certificate should be made at least 10 working days prior to the date of travel.
  • Each pet you are taking to Europe will still need a completed and valid pet passport. The new certificate is not evidence your pets meets the Pet Travel Scheme rules.
  • For more information (including advice on rules for transporting more than 5 animals to non-EU countries) contact the Carlisle Specialist Service Centre Exports Team.

See also


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