Pet Transport Scheme

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 DEFRA Pet Transport Scheme.
 
The rules of this scheme are 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.
 
Information about the requirements for bringing pets into the UK under the Pet Transport Scheme is summarised below, if moving your pet to outside the UK please make sure that you comply with the requirements of the country of import as they will differ to the DEFRA Pet Transport Scheme.
 
 

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

Unsure if you are in an EU or listed non-EU country then check out the current definitions on the DEFRA website
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. The number of the chip and date of registration is required for your pet to travel.

More information about microchipping your pet can be found on the DEFRA website.

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. Pets will only be allowed into the UK 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.

More information about vaccinating your pet can be found on the DEFRA website.

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).

More information about pet blood tests can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 4: Have your pet tapeworm treated (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. No tapeworm treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta). There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment.

More information about tapeworm treatment can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 5: Arrange for your animal to travel  

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an authorised transport company on an authorised route.

More information about authorised transport companies and authorised routes can be found on the DEFRA website.

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

The regulations    

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 1st January 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 just as in the case for movement from an EU or listed non-EU country.

The reality

 

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 1st January 2012.

What you need to do if you are travelling between the UK and either the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

The regulations    

There are no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and either the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

 

 

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

Unsure if you are in an EU or listed non-EU country then check out the current definitions on the DEFRA website
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. The number of the chip and date of registration is required for your pet to travel.

More information about microchipping your pet can be found on the DEFRA website.

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. Pets will only be allowed into the UK 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.

More information about vaccinating your pet can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 3: Get 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. Your pet will only be able to enter the UK after three months from a blood sample that 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.

More information about pet travel documentation can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 4: 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).

More information about pet blood tests can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 5: Have your pet tapeworm treated (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. No tapeworm treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta). There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment.

More information about tapeworm treatment can be found on the DEFRA website.

Step 6: Arrange for your animal to travel  

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an authorised transport company on an authorised route.

More information about authorised transport companies and authorised routes can be found on the DEFRA website.

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

The regulations    

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 for entering from an unlisted non-EU country.

Attention

 

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

The regulations    

Pets travelling to an unlisted third country that meet the requirements for travelling from an unlisted non-EU country 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

The regulations    

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.

Attention

 

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 regulations    

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.

Competition, show or sporting event pets 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.

Attention

 

Each pet you are taking to Europe will still need a completed and valid pet passport. The health 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.

 

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