The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was introduced in 2000 and is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine, as long as the rules of the scheme are adhered to. It also means that people living in the UK can take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries and return with them to the UK without the need for quarantine.
The Regulations are very detailed and we would recommend that your first step should be to visit the gov.uk website for information. It is well worth researching the regulations in good time before traveling, as it can be stressful arranging travel at the last minute.
Pet Travel Scheme at a glance (regulations as of 1st Jan 2012):
The MINIMUM amount of time needed is 21 days – this is from the day after the rabies vaccination to the first date at which you are allowed to travel. It is strongly recommended that you leave at least a month, and ideally longer, before travelling. If there are unforeseen circumstances such as your vaccination having to be delayed due to your pets’ illness, or for any other reason, you will not be allowed to travel – and we would hate for your trip to be delayed or ruined!
Each pet will need an official passport, issued by a registered vet, before being allowed to travel abroad. Our receptionists will make you a double appointment so you have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have.
We will check all of your contact and animal details are correct, and will endeavour to fill in the paperwork and issue your passport to be collected within a few days. Please inform reception when booking if you need the passport completed on the day and we will do our best to accommodate you.
We will ensure your pet has a functioning microchip, and that the number is correct. If necessary, we are happy to implant a chip during the appointment.
Your pet will need an up-to-date rabies vaccination, consisting of a single vaccine followed by boosters every three years.
Before returning to the UK after traveling abroad, your pet will need a licensed tapeworm treatment to be administered by a vet in the country you are visiting and recorded in your pets’ passport, within 24 and 120 hours before returning to the UK.
There are additional regulations regarding the mode of transport and specified carriers you are permitted to use.
The above regulations apply to EU or non-EU listed countries, as defined on the DEFRA website. There will be additional rules relating to non-listed countries. There may well be other specific threats that you need to be aware of depending on where you are traveling to (including certain more exotic diseases and parasites).
Read the full regulations on the government website and if you have any questions then please ask one of our vets and we will be pleased to help.