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Pet Passports

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules. It also means that people in the UK can take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries, and return with them to the UK. There are also certain non-EU countries that are included in the scheme. The rules are in place to keep the UK free from rabies and some other diseases.

The rules are:

  1. A microchip must be fitted to properly identify your pet.
  2. A rabies vaccination must be carried out after your pet is microchipped. There is no longer a requirement for pets to be blood sampled after vaccination. However, a period of 21 days must pass before your pet can travel. Booster vaccinations are then required every three years.
  3. An EU passport is issued.
  4. Before returning to the UK all dogs must be treated with a product effective against tapeworm. The product must be administered by a vet 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before your pet checks in for its journey to the UK. This is not a requirement for dogs travelling from Finland, Ireland or Malta. Previously animals were required to be treated for ticks prior to travel to the UK. This is no longer a requirement but it is recommended to treat your pet to prevent infections that are spread by ticks.
  5. Your pet must travel via an approved route with an approved transport company into the UK.

We strongly advise that you visit the government website www.defra.gov.uk for the most up to date information on PETS.

You will need to consider that depending on where you travel to there are exotic diseases (not usually found in the UK) that your pet could contract and which are not preventable by vaccination. The most serious of these are: Leishmaniasis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis and Dirofilariasis (heartworm disease). All of these can have severe consequences in your animal; some can also cause disease in humans.