The need for careful preparation
When travelling with your pets, and specifically cats, dogs and ferrets, careful preparation is essential – the first thing to check are the rules and regulations for the UK and overseas country. The rules protect against certain diseases (such as rabies) and help to avoid the need for quarantine.
The DEFRA PETS Travel Scheme applies to dogs, cats and ferrets and covers ‘EU countries’, ‘listed’ countries and ‘unlisted’ countries. If you have a different species of pet, the rules may be different again. The rules for exporting a pet, and not returning, may differ from those rules when taking your pet on holiday.
Further infromation on up-to-date regulations and country classifications, speak to one of our vets or you can contact DEFRA, online at
www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad or on their helpline 03702411710.
Planning your travel
Whether you are exporting your pet or planning on going on holiday, you need to know what passport and official veterinary certificates you will need.
Find out if the country you are travelling to is part of the PETS, ‘listed’ or ‘unlisted’ countries – check with DEFRA and the overseas country if necessary to confirm their specific requirements. Work out exactly what you need to do.
- SIX MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE
Your pet must have an ID microchip. Once fitted, your pet should be vaccinated against rabies. They must be at least 12 weeks of age. Ask your vet to arrange a Pet Passport if you need one.
- THREE MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE
If you are travelling to countries where the risk of leishmaniosis is high, talk to your vet about whether leishmaniosis vaccine should be recommended and consider the timing of injections and dates when protection is provided.
- TWO MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE
If you need one, contact your APHA office to request an Export Health Certificate and ensure you have any necessary Import Permits for your destination.
- ONE WEEK BEFORE DEPARTURE
If needed, bring your pet and all your paperwork to the vets to have them checked for their Export Health Certificate. Book in with one of our OVS (Official Veterinary Surgeon) vets, that can carry out EU or PETS approved certificates (they need specific traning).
- **DOGS ONLY**: 24 TO 120 HOURS BEFORE YOU RETUEN TO THE UK
Take your dog to the vet to have it treated for tapeworm and, whilst it is not a legal requirement, it is beneficial to treat them for ticks at this stage too. This must be officially certified so you can re-enter the UK.
You must always travel with your original passport documents. Ensure your pet’s details are up to date and a valid microchip is recorded. Make sure all your vaccinations are recorded in the passport (including the maufacturer, brand and batch number) along with any tapeworm treatments ( given 24-120 hours before your return to the UK).
FLYING WITH YOUR PET
Animals that are flying have to be shipped in regulated carriers – check with your airline for their specific requirements. Assistance or Guide Dogs are sometimes allowed to travel in the cabin alongside their owner – again check with your airline well in advance or contact Guide Dogs on www.guidedogs.org.uk.
PET DOGS THAT ARE NOT PERMITTED TO BRING INTO THE UK
There are specific breeds of dogs that are illegal in the UK and will not be allowed entry, including the Pit Bull Terrier, the Dogo Argentino, the Fila Braziliero and the Japanese Tosa. If you bring one of these dogs into the UK, you could be prosecuted and the dog seized and destroyed.
ALWAYS KEEP OUR CONTACT DETAILS WITH YOU WHEN TRAVELLING 0161 764 4618
DEFRA: www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad 03702411710