Pet Passports

Pet PassportsIf you are thinking about taking your pet abroad, Pets‘n’Vets suggests you familiarise yourself with all the rules relating to Pet Passports. The DEFRA website has comprehensive and up-to-date Pet Passport information.

Pet passports have been around since the mid-1990s following long-term campaigning to relax the controls over pet movements in and out of the UK.

Pet passports were initially developed to enable dogs to travel to and from the continent. However, over the past 15 years, an increasing number of countries have joined the pet passport scheme.

Until recently, all animals travelling into the UK required a rabies vaccination and then blood sample. An animal was not allowed to enter the UK for a period of 6 months after a satisfactory babies blood test. These rules have recently changed for pets travelling from some countries.

Changes to the Pet Travel Rules

From 1 January 2012, Defra announced a change of rules for pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. This was as a result of harmonisation of EU regulations.

The changes have significantly changed the time required for pets traveling into the UK from some other countries:

  • Pets entering the UK from an EU member state or a non-EU country listed in the EU regulations (see the Defra website - will still require a pet passport and rabies vaccination. However, they will no longer need a post-vaccination blood test, and the waiting period before entry will be reduced from 6 months to 21 days.
  • Pets entering the UK from non-EU countries which are not listed in the EU regulations can enter the UK from 1 January 2012 without a compulsory 6-month quarantine period, providing they comply with the new requirements.

UK Pets entering non-EU countries which are not listed in the EU regulations

Owners of pets leaving the UK to enter non-EU listed countries must check requirements with the individual countries. Due to the relaxation of the UK’s policy, some non-EU countries are imposing more stringent controls on animals coming from the UK, including, in some cases, a requirement for a 6-month quarantine.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the Pets‘n’Vets team to discuss this further, or require other information on disease protection while visiting the continent, please contact your local Pets Vets surgery to make an appointment.

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