Pet travel and taking pets abroad has certainly changed over the years and this change is definitely for the better, due to the introduction of the new Pets Travel Scheme also known as PETS! If you are a UK resident wanting to take your pet(s) abroad with you within the EU or you are a pet owner wanting to enter or re-enter the UK with your pet(s), the process is now much easier and a lot less stress for both you the pet owner and the pet(s) themselves. However, there are still a number of rules and regulations you must follow to make your pet eligible to travel.
This page is designed to provide a basic overview of the Pets Travel Scheme and travelling with your pets.
The Pet Travel Scheme
Under the new Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) which was introduced in February 2000, you can now travel with your dog, cat and even your pet ferret abroad within the EU (to countries who participate in the Pets Travel Scheme) or enter the UK from another EU country or listed non EU country, without putting your pet in quarantine, so long as you comply with the Pets Travel Scheme rules and regulations.
Do I Need An EU Pet Passport For My Pet
If you are wanting to travel within the EU with your pet(s), enter the UK with your pet or return to the UK with your pet(s) having been away for some time, then yes, you will need to have a Pet Passport.
Why Do I Need A Pet Passport
Having a valid up to date EU Pet Passport, a current Rabies Vaccinations (and any additional documentation required by the country you are visiting) will allow you and your pet to travel between countries throughout the EU.
What Pets Does ‘The Pet Travel Scheme’ Cover
The Pet Travel Scheme covers dogs, cats and ferrets.
When To Apply For A Pet Passport
If you wish to travel with your pet, then it is essential that you have all the right procedures in place before you travel. Timing is everything and you will need to make yourself familiar with all the rules and regulations for the Pet Travel Scheme such as vaccinations, worming and microchipping your pet(s). There are certain time schedules for vaccinations, blood tests and worming treatment that you will need to meet before you are issued with a passport for your pet(s).
Requirements For The Pet Travel Scheme
In order for your pet dog, cat or ferret to be eligible to travel overseas there are certain requirements you need to meet. These requirements are as follow:
Microchip: Before your pet has the Rabies vaccination, you must ensure that your pet is ‘Microchipped’. If your pet has a Rabies vaccination before it is ‘microchipped’, then it must have another vaccination after it has been ‘Microchipped’.
Vaccination: In order for your pet to be allowed to travel, it must first be vaccinated. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated against Rabies.
Blood Test: If you are entering the UK from an EU or Listed non-EU countries then it is no longer necessary for your pet to have a blood test under the Pet Travel Scheme. However, if you are entering the UK from an unlisted non-EU countries, a blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after the Rabies Vaccination.
Waiting Period: There is a waiting period of 3 calendar months before you can enter the UK and this 3 months should be from the date that the vet took the blood sample.
Worming: In accordance with the rules and regulations of the Pet Travel Scheme, your pet should be treated against Tapeworm. The treatment should be administered no less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before your pet is due to arrive in the UK. Please note that all treatments must be administered by a registered vet and should also be documented on the pet passport by the vet.
How To Get A Pet Passport
The ‘Pet Passport’ is actually issued by a vet and it is a certificate to show that your pet(s) has complied with the rules and regulations set by the Pet Travel Scheme. To commence procedures for the issue of your pet passport, you should consult a registered Vet.
How Many Pets Can You Travel With Abroad
There is a limit on how many pets you can travel with and this limit is 5. The only exception to this rule is if you are attending or training for a show, sports event or competition. If you are training for or attending a show, sports event or competition, you will need to obtain written confirmation of your registration and present it on the day of travel.
Also, any animal that is travelling with you should be over 6 months old, should meet all the requirements for the Pet Travel Scheme and be attending the show, event or competition you are travelling to.
Other Types Of Pets
If you are bringing other animals into the UK (such as pet birds, invertebrates, rabbits, rodents, ornamental fish, amphibians and reptiles) from other countries that are within the EU, there are no restrictions. However, if you intend bringing a pet rabbit or rodent into the UK from any country that is outside the EU, then they must spend 4 months in quarantine before travelling and they will also be required to hold a ‘Rabies Import licence’.
There are many other stipulations on animals and ‘non Domestic’ pets travelling from countries throughout the world and if you need to know more about certain breeds and species you can read more by visiting the ‘Useful Related Reading’ links listed below.
How Much Does A Pet Passport Cost
The cost of a Pet Passport is usually between £150-£250, depending on what you need in terms of treatment. If you are travelling by air, you should also check with the airline you are flying with to see if there are any additional cost for taking your pet on board.
Useful Related Reading:
Centre for International Trade (Carlisle):
DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs):
Government Website: Pet Travel Entering And Returning Into The UK
We hope you found this page informative and if you need any more help regarding the Pet Travel Scheme, you should consult a registered Vet.