Tel: 01736 798333


 
Tel: 01736 798333


The Pet Travel Scheme, (PETS) allows dogs and cats from specified countries only to enter the UK without quarantine provided they meet stringent regulations. PETS has not replaced quarantine. This is still mandatory for any dogs and cats from non-specified countries.

Which countries qualify under the scheme?

The EU countries specified at the time of going to press are:

Austria, Belgium, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal including Azores and Madeira, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain including Canary Islands, Sweden.

Dogs and cats can also travel to these EU countries under the PETS scheme.

Dogs and cats can also enter the UK from the following long-haul countries and territories under the scheme:

Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Guyana, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Grenadines, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Reunion, Russian Federation, St Helena, St Kitts & Nevis, St Pierre & Miquelon, St Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, USA (mainland), Vanuatu, Vatican, Wallis & Futuna.

However this list is subject to change and we strongly advise contacting the PETS helpline on 0870 241 1710 or http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm for the latest information.

What are the rules?

  • The scheme applies only to dogs and cats and no other pets.
  • The pet must have been fitted with a microchip, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested in that order.
  • It can only enter or re-enter the UK on approved routes and stringent health requirements must be fulfilled.
  • A PETS passport must be obtained, kept with you and be ready for inspection when you travel with your cat or dog.
  • Pets must not have been outside any of the EU or non-EU listed countries in the 6 calendar months before travelling to the UK.
  • Microchipping

    You can get your pet fitted with a microchip at any time but remember it must be done before it is vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. Your vet should record the microchip number on your pet's vaccination record at the time of vaccination. The microchip number will also be recorded on the PETS passport.

    Vaccination

    Your pet must be at least three months old before it is vaccinated. It can be done any time after your pet has been fitted with a microchip. Before vaccinating your pet, your vet will check its microchip number and enter it on your pet's vaccination record when it is vaccinated. It is permissible to have only one dose of vaccine, but there is a 10% failure rate for the blood test. We recommend 2 doses 2-4 weeks apart, the failure rate is then very low.

    Blood Testing

    After your pet has been vaccinated, it will need a blood test to make sure that the vaccine has given your pet sufficient protection against rabies. The vet will take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory for testing. The best time to get your pet blood-tested is 30 days after the vaccination course.

    If your pet's blood test is successful, you can now ask your vet to issue you with a PETS passport. It is important to remember that you have to wait six months from the date of the satisfactory blood test before you are allowed to enter or re-enter the UK. This is because an animal that is infected before or at the time of vaccination will not be protected against rabies by the vaccine.

    The PETS passport is valid until the date a booster rabies vaccination is due. This is specified by the manufacturer and it is important that this is administered when specified. If you fail to do this your pet will have to be re-vaccinated, wait a month, be blood tested and then a new PETS passport issued.

    If your pet fails its blood test (in other words, the result shows that it has not been satisfactorily protected against rabies), it may need to be re-vaccinated and blood tested again.

    Treatment against ticks and tapeworms

    There is one final step to take before your pet can enter or re-enter the UK without quarantine. Between 24-48 hours before return to the UK you will have to arrange that your pet is treated against ticks and tapeworms and the fact recorded on your pets passport. This has to be repeated each trip.

    Any vet in one of the qualifying countries can do this. If you are taking your animal out of the UK on a day trip, you will need to get the treatment done in the UK in the 24 to 48 hour period before your return journey starts.

    Taking pets out of the UK

    Although the PETS passport is all that is required to travel to most EU countries, some countries have further regulations. It is wise to check the import requirements of any country you plan to visit with DEFRA well before you go.

    Health and welfare of your pet abroad

    You should be aware that if you take your pet out of the UK, it may be exposed to diseases which we do not have in the UK, e.g. diseases transmitted by the bite of ticks, and parasites such as heartworm and tapeworm. It will have no natural immunity to such diseases and may therefore be more likely to succumb to them. Some of these disease can affect humans.

    We strongly recommend that you consult your vet about your pet's fitness to travel before you take your pet abroad. Depending on where you are going, your vet may be able to advise you on preventative treatments, on any other precautions you need to take and how to look for signs of ill health in your pet.

    If your pet shows signs of illness after returning from abroad, explain where it has been so that your vet can consider the possibility of an illness not normally found in the UK.

    What happens if the microchip cannot be read when we come back?

    Your pet will be placed in quarantine and hopefully this will only be temporary. However if the microchip genuinely cannot be found, a new microchip will have to be inserted and regretfully your dog will have to undergo the statutory six months quarantine since not only will microchipping be necessary but vaccination against rabies and blood testing will also have to be repeated subsequently.

    We strongly advise that if you are intending to travel under PETS that you have the microchip checked regularly, we will be happy to do this for you. Make sure you have it checked before you leave the country. Remember that on your return the microchip will be read when your dog is treated against ticks and tapeworm as the number has to be recorded on your PETS passport.

    What happens if I lose some of my documents?

    A copy will have to be obtained if the PETS passport is lost. The transport company may be able to help. However do try to keep all documents safely since loss of any is bound to cause delay.

    What happens if I cannot get a vet to treat my dog against ticks and tapeworms before I am due to return?

    This treatment has to be obtained prior to boarding. PETS helpline may be able to help with the address of local veterinary surgeons. However 24 hours must elapse after this treatment has been carried out before you return. The relevant part of the PETS passport must be completed by the vet. Private certificates will not be accepted. Be sure the veterinary surgeon carrying this out in the qualifying country understands this.

    Dogs and cats arriving in the UK by air have their passport checked on arrival. If only the tick and tapeworm certificate is incorrect, this treatment will be repeated at the airport and the animal held for 24 hours. If any other parts of the documentation are incorrect, the pet will either be returned to the qualifying country or go into quarantine awaiting clarification.

    This treatment has to be done every time your pet enters the UK and an entry made on the PETS passport.

    Are there any special regulations regarding travelling?

    Yes. Only approved carriers must be used on designated routes. Details are available via the PETS helpline or website.