It is only natural to want to take your pet with you on holiday, however this privilege comes with a certain responsibility on the owner's part to make sure that the transfer of rabies and other diseases is not an issue. With the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), by following some simple guidelines you will be able to take Rover or Whiskers along with you in peace of mind.
While the UK has been rabies-free for many years, mammals still may be able to contract it in certain destinations abroad. To avoid forcing your animal to spend six months in quarantine, they should arrive under and comply with the conditions of PETS.
Here is the list of procedures for all dogs (including guide dogs) cats, and ferrets. They must be completed in a PETS qualified country, and must be done in this specific order. Your pet must be:
-Fitted with a microchip
against rabies. (There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination)
-Given a blood test
by a European Union approved laboratory (Your dog or cat may not enter the UK under PETS until six calendar months have passed from the date that your vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result. Once the vet has issued the PETS documentation and that six month period has passed, the PETS documentation is valid for your pet to enter the UK.
It is your duty to ensure that your pet:
-Has his/her EU pet passport
-Has not visited any non-approved countries or territories for at least six months before (s)he re-enters the UK
-Has been treated by a vet for tapeworm and ticks, not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before checking in with a PETS-approved carrier for the journey back to the UK
-Travels into the UK on a PETS-approved sea, air or rail route
Important things to remember:
-There is limited space on the approved carriers, and without a prior booking, your pet will NOT be allowed to travel.
-Your pet's passport will be checked on return to the UK to ensure that all requirements of the PETS scheme have been met. If there is missing paperwork or your pet has not been properly prepared, it could be put into quarantine or be sent back to the country from which it has just travelled.
-If you plan on moving from one EU country to another, your pet must wait 21 days from his/her first rabies vaccination before (s)he can come with you.
-All animals (except guide dogs) travelling to or from the UK must travel in the hold as manifest cargo.
-The current PETS approved countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France*, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Vatican, Antigua and Barbuda, Ascension Island, Australia, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia*, Guadeloupe, Jamaica*, Japan, Réunion*, Malta, Martinique*, Mauritius, Mayotte*, Montserrat, New Caledonia*, New Zealand, St. Helena, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
Note: *=France or French DOM (Départements d'Outre-Mer)*Although Jamaica is a qualifying country under the EU Regulation, Jamaican law currently prevents the involvement of that country in PETS. PETS-prepared animals may not enter Jamaica and animals may not be prepared for PETS in Jamaica(Source:Defra).
For more information on the PETS scheme go to the PETS travel tips website.