Pet Travel Scheme
On 28th February 2000 the 'Pet Travel Scheme' (PETS) came into force.
for a trial period of one year it allowed dogs and cats to travel, to
countries, with their owners without the mandatory six month quarantine
on return to the UK.
Five years on many thousands of pets have holidayed successfully in
and, despite a little 'fine-tuning', the system remains largely
Although the UK continues to use the term 'Pet Travel Scheme' you will
now apply for a EU Pet Passport. If you intend visiting a EU country,
your dog or cat, you will need to plan your pet's passport at least six
before you intend to travel. The first requirement will be to
your pet microchipped for identification (the 'chip' must be ISO
11784 or 11785 - if not you are advised to take your own scanner with
Once your pet is over the age of twelve weeks it will require a rabies
and then blood tested one month later to check immunity levels. Please
your pet cannot return to the UK until six months following the date of
successful blood test. Within 24-48 hours of returning to the UK your
must also be treated for ticks and tapeworms.
If you are planning on taking your pets on holiday be warned that the
passport" scheme takes about seven/eight months to arrange, because you
to wait for your pet to build up antibodies following a rabbies
The passport process commences with microchipping your pet, to ensure
it can be identified, then the animal has to be vaccinated against
If you already have a pet passport and insurance, make sure your
provides for emergency expenses abroad. Otherwise you may be
if your pet becomes ill or needs treatment in a foreign country.
insurance providers vary in the amount of cover they offer for costs
may incur overseas, as well as how much they will pay for kennel or
fees. It is worth noting that chipping and neutering your pet
greatly reduce the cost of insurance.
with the DEFRA web site for up to date
on the Travel Scheme.
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If you are planning a trip
with your pet later in the year, being organised with the paper work
The PETS passport scheme allowing dogs to travel between certain
with no quarantine has been in place for a few years now and many dogs
their own passport. If this is the case, as long as rabies
are kept up to date (to the day), the planning of a family holiday
is much easier.
If you do not have a PETS passport for your dog, you are looking at 7 -
months to get all the necessary requirements allowing your pet re-entry
the UK without the need for a stay in quarantine. Below are the
points of what needs to be done to acquire a passport and take your pet
1. Microchip and rabies vaccination – You must have your
microchipped so that it can be identified. Once the microchip has
fitted, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. This is the first
needed in order to get a PETS passport. These two procedures can
carried out in the same consultation at the vets but the microchip
to be inserted before the vaccination is given.
2. 2nd rabies vaccination – Some veterinary practices give
2nd rabies vaccination a couple of weeks after the first.
3. Blood test – After your pet has been vaccinated, it
be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given satisfactory
against rabies. To check the rabies vaccine has been successful,
blood test is taken 30 days (no less) after the vaccine is given.
4. Once the results are back, you can get an
PETS certificate from a government-authorised vet. This
allows you to go away on holiday with your dog .
5. It is a good idea that your vet examines your pet a
of days before travelling. This is a requirement of some airline
6. Before re-entering the UK, your pet must be treated against
and worms. This must be done 24-48 hours before check-in for journey
to UK. Any qualified vet can carry out the treatment. The vet must
an official certificate of treatment.
You will have to sign a declaration that your animal has not been
any of the PETS qualifying countries in the six months before it enters
UK . You will need to see a local vet to administer and sign the
paperwork. Your pet must enter Britain from a PETS country by an
Whenever you are considering a long journey with your pet, whether in
UK or abroad, we recommend you should speak to a vet about the journey
ensuring your pet is healthy enough to cope with the trip. At the
time, you should check the regulations involved in taking a pet abroad
they can change slightly and so we advise you to check with DEFRA to
sure you have all the right paperwork with you when travelling.
Defra website is www.defra.gov.uk
alternatively call their PETS helpline on 0870 241 1710.
Travel in the UK and Ireland does not require a pet passport but
your pets vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are up to date is
advised. A future Pet supermarket newsletter will discuss travel
your pet in the UK and how to make this trip as enjoyable and stress
THE PET TRAVEL SCHEME
AND THE EU PET PASSPORT
0870 241 1710
0208 870 5960
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The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
to all cats and dogs. It allows them to enter or re-enter the UK from
countries without quarantine as long as they meet certain criteria.
Your Pet for Travelling Abroad
Step 1. Microchipping
Fitting a microchip. You can have a microchip fitted at any time but it
be done before your pet is vaccinated against rabies and blood tested.
You can now arrange to have your pet vaccinated against rabies.
Your vet should record the microchip number on your pet's vaccination
at the time of vaccination. The microchip number and date of
will be recorded in the EU Pet Passport.
If your pet was vaccinated against rabies before it was microchipped,
will need to be vaccinated again.
Step 2. Vaccinating
When to Vaccinate
Pets must be at least three months old before vaccination is permitted.
this time vaccination can take place at any time after the microchip
been implanted. Before administering the rabies vaccine, your vet will
the microchip number.
If your pet has been vaccinated against rabies before it was identified
a microchip, it will have to be fitted with a microchip and vaccinated
This is to make sure that your pet is correctly identified when it is
Your vet should now arrange to have your pet blood tested. This should
place about 30 days after vaccination.
When your pet is vaccinated, make sure that your vet has recorded the
details on its vaccination record card:
* its date of birth/age (if known)
* the microchip number (and date of insertion, if known)
* the date of vaccination
* the vaccine product name
* the batch number
* the date the booster vaccination is due
* sign, date and stamp
After a pet has been successfully vaccinated against rabies, it must be
booster vaccinations to keep the passport valid. Your vet will advise
when this must be carried out as it must be within the specified time
by the vaccine manufacturer and should be recorded on the vaccination
card. The revaccination interval for cats may be different to that of
Rabies booster vaccinations will be noted in the pet passport and the
date is the latest date for further revaccination..
Step 3. Blood Testing
Arranging a Blood Test
After your pet has been vaccinated, it will need a blood test to make
that the vaccine has given your pet sufficient protection against
The vet will take a sample of your pet's blood and send it to an
laboratory for testing. Remember to take your pet's vaccination record
with you when the blood sample is taken.
When to Blood Test
Your vet will advise you on the best time to get your pet blood-tested.
sure that your vet records the date on which the blood sample was
Failed Blood Test
If your pet fails the blood test it will have to be revaccinated and
tested again. No further blood tests are required after the first test
gives a successful result provided the pet is subsequently revaccinated
the intervals specified by the vaccine manufacturer. If there is a
in the specified vaccination programme, a further blood test will be
after revaccination, and a further period of six months must elapse
the pet can re-enter the UK.
Step 4. Certification
The EU Pet Passport
To bring your pet back into the UK you will need an EU Pet Passport.
will be issued to you by a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI) or by a
approved source in one of the qualifying countries.The transport
staff who check your pet will need to see the passport, so make sure it
kept safe. Before issuing a a passport in the UK the LVI will need to
the pet and check that it:
* can be identified by its microchip number.
* has a current vaccination against rabies given after the microchip
* had a blood test showing that the rabies vaccine has given
* shows no clinical signs of rabies
If your pet does not meet these requirements,a passport will not be
Most small animal veterinary practices in the UK have a resident LVI.
your own vet is not an LVI, they may be able to tell you where the
one works. If not, contact your local Animal Health Divisional Office
* may be issued at any time after the above requirements have been met .
* will be valid for the duration of the most recent vaccination.
* will expire if your pet does not receive a booster rabies vaccination
to the expiry of the ..last vaccination.
Validity of a Pet Passport
A Pet Passport will not become valid for entry into the UK until six
have passed from the date the blood samples was taken which gave a
test result. If the passport is issued after the six months period has
it will be valid for entry into the UK immediately. The passport will
valid up to the date that the pet's booster vaccination is due. This is
on pages 4 & 5 of the passport as the 'valid until' date.
Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on
Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country travelling with an
transport company on an authorised route.
countries, transport companies and routes
as supplied by DEFRA is up to date as of September 9 2007
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