The Pet Travel Scheme has been set up to allow movement of animals to and from many countries.
The regulations regarding travelling with cats, dogs & ferrets were changed at the start of January 2012. To travel to & from approved countries in the Pet Passport scheme you still require a Pet Passport but the requirement for a blood test & a 6month wait before entering the UK have been lifted for travel from some countries.
To be able to return with your pet from the approved European countries your pet must be:
- Vaccinated against rabies after the microchip has been implanted
- Wait a minimum of 21 days from the date of initial vaccination (this is not required for subsequent entries into the UK provided the booster is kept up to date)
- Pet Passport issued
- Tapeworm treated (dogs only). This must be given by a vet not less than 24hrs & not more than 120 hrs (1-5 days) before scheduled arrival time in the UK. This will be certified in the passport by the vet.
- Arrive with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
Tick treatment prior to entry into the UK is no longer a legal requirement HOWEVER we would still recommend owners to treat their pet with an effective tick treatment to stop European ticks entering the UK & bringing potentially fatal diseases with them.
If an owner has 5 pets or more they also require a special health certificate.
The list of approved countries can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel as well as information regarding requirements for entering the UK with your pet from other countries not on this list.
Please be aware that there are certain regulations to meet when travelling from the UK to other countries & owners are advised to contact the Embassy of that country to ensure they comply before travelling. If permanently moving abroad or spending several months a year abroad you may be required to vaccinate your pet more frequently for rabies.
The Pets Travel Scheme is set up to minimize the risk of diseases entering the UK, not to protect your pet from diseases they may encounter while travelling. If possible contacting a vet in the area you are travelling to & finding out what diseases are in that area can be vital for which preventive measures you need to use while abroad & once home again to prevent your pet catching a potentially fatal disease. These diseases are not in the UK so our pets have not protective immunity to them. A useful website is www.esccapuk.org.uk. This provides information on disease distribution of `exotic` diseases in Europe, although the definite looking lines bordering areas of disease are country border lines that diseases usually do not observe. A safe precaution would be to use preventive measures for diseases that exist in surrounding countries to the ones you are visiting as well as some of these diseases are constantly moving into new areas.
The measures involved include avoiding certain insects that can carry diseases (tick, mosquitoes, sandflies) insect killing products, antiparasite drugs for your pet to take &, newly available in the UK, a vaccine against leishmaniosis. This vaccine requires 3 separate injections to be given so the vaccine course must be started at least 10 weeks prior to travelling.
Please make an appointment to discuss your travel plans as early as possible so we can advise what precautions should be taken.