Bringing your Pet to the UK

It used to be nigh on impossible to bring a pet into the UK… longer…..

In order to enter or return to the UK with your pet cat, dog or ferret, you should follow the below steps. Otherwise, your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You will also pay fees and charges for that.

Where are you travelling from?

The rules depend on where you are coming from:

• Group 1: an EU country, or another country the UK accepts pet passports from (like Andorra, Canary Islands, Norway, Switzerland, etc.)
• Group 2: a listed country (like Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, UAE, USA)
• Group 3: an unlisted country – the UK does not accept a pet passport from these

Step 1: micro chip

Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip. Microchipping for pet travel can only be done by vet or other professional trained for this purpose. The microchip number must be reflected in the pet passport or veterinary certificate.

Step 2 Rabies vaccination, boosters and blood tests

After the microchip has been fitted, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. If you are from the Group 1-2 countries, you must wait 21 days after the vaccination prior to entering the UK. If you are from the Group 3 countries, you must follow additional rules (eg have a successful blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination; wait 3 months from the date of the blood sample, etc).

Step 3 : passport or veterinary certificate

Pet passports list the different treatments your pet has had and you need its original if your pet is travelling from the Group 1 countries. The pet passport must contain particular details, like ownership, description of animal, vaccination against rabies, etc.

If you are coming from Group 1-2 countries, you need an original official veterinary certificate (in case your pet does not have a pet passport). The certificate should be prepared in the particular approved format. Your pet must arrive in an EU country within 10 days of the certificate being issued. It is valid for 4 months for further travel within the EU.

Step 4 : tapeworm treatment for dogs

Prior to entering the UK, all 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 (5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. It also should be recorded in a pet passport/ veterinary certificate.

Step 5 : travel with an approved transport company

Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route. You should check whether the company accept your pet for travel and what proof of its fit and healthy condition is required (like a letter from a vet, a pet passport).

Your pet must arrive in the UK no more than 5 days before or after you, otherwise you must follow different rules (Balai Directive: moving live animals, semen and embryos)

Please note that there are additional rules if the animal is to be sold or re-homed in the UK.

Yulia Gutkovich