Pets And Quarantine In The UK

Pets And Quarantine In The UK
Many incomers to the UK, especially those with families and job offers, will wish to bring their pets with them – almost an impossibility until 1 January 2012 due to the former six-month quarantine rule for dogs and cats first introduced to prevent the spread of the deadly disease of rabies in the country.

Since 1 January 2012, the rules have been amended to comply with European Union regulations and are defined by the Pet Travel Scheme (PTS), allowing pets who meet certain criteria to enter and re-enter the UK from any part of the world without needing to be quarantined.

Before you travel with your pet, you must familiarise yourself with the regulations as outlined in the PTS. Rules vary according to species and the country from which they are arriving, but if the provisions are met there will be no problem for either the pet or its caring owner.

The Pet Travel Scheme requires all dogs and cats entering the UK to have been vaccinated against rabies in their home countries, and approved routes of entry must be used. If the new regulations are not adhered to, the pet in question will be placed into a quarantine facility close to the port of entry at the owner’s expense until it is proven not to have rabies and has received a vaccination.

It should be noted that quarantine facilities are expensive and may not be especially well-maintained, according to reports. Regulations vary and are split between animals arriving from EU countries, listed non-EU countries where rabies is not prevalent and the Republic of Ireland, and other countries not in the approved list.

For arrivals from countries in the ‘approved’ list, the pet first needs to be microchipped for easy identification. The next step is the anti-rabies vaccination, which should be given at least 21 days before travel to the UK. Booster shots are acceptable and, provided boosters are updated, no waiting period for re-entry is necessary, and the pet is fully protected.

A ‘Pet Passport’ for EU countries, or an official veterinary certificate for non-EU countries must be provided, and your pet must receive anti-tapeworm treatment between 24 and 120 hours before the time of entry into the UK. Lastly, your pet must be transported via an approved route and by an authorised transport company such as an airline.

For pets arriving from a non-EU country not on the ‘approved’ list, microchipping is also required, with a blood test taken 30 days after the rabies vaccination has been given to ensure the correct level of protection has been given. UK entry will only be possible three months after the blood test result, unless the animal has previously met PTS criteria in the UK, with the information recorded on the pet passport.

Any brand of microchip can be used, although an ISO-compatible brand will make reading during transit and on arrival easier. All pet vaccinations should be up to date, as a missing vaccination date or microchip number could result in quarantine. Other information which must be recorded is the date of the microchip fitting and its number, the rabies vaccine batch number and name and the date of any boosters.