Pet Travel Scheme - Pet Passports feature

Pet Travel Scheme - Pet Passports

The pet travel scheme is a minefield it changes regularly, and the rules differ depending on where you are travelling to. Below is some basic information about the pet travel scheme.

We recommend that you visit the travel scheme's official website or contact Defra for more detailed information or to help with your travel plans.

The Pet Travel Scheme is the system that allows:

  • Pet dogs, cats and ferrets to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
  • People in the UK to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries and territories, and return with them to the UK without the need for quarantine.

The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other exotic diseases. The UK has been free from rabies for many years, but because of the existence of the disease in other countries there is a continued need for an effective system to be in place to manage the risk of rabies being introduced by imported animals.

Dogs, cats and ferrets

The UK does not allow  dogs, cats and ferrets that have not been vaccinated against rabies to enter the UK. Once they have reached the minimum age for vaccination (as stated on the vaccine manufactureru2019s datasheet) they must be prepared in accordance with all the requirements explained on these web pages, taking account of the required order of preparation.

  • What pet owners need to do -How to bring your pet dog cat, or ferret into or back into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme.
  • Countries and territories -The rules for dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK will depend on which country or territory you are travelling from.
  • Routes and transport companies - Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme may only do so on approved routes.

You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Make sure you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and your petu2019s documentation is correctly completed. If you do not, your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be licensed into quarantine on arrival. This will mean delay and will cost you money.



When to vaccinate

Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the recommendation on the vaccine manufacturer data sheet. This can be done any time after it has been implanted with a microchip. Before vaccinating your pet, make sure your vet reads its microchip number and enters it on your petu2019s vaccination record.

If your pet has been vaccinated against rabies before it was identified by a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again. This is to make sure that your pet is correctly identified when it is vaccinated.

An approved inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine must be used. The vaccine must be approved in the country of use.

21 day wait

From 1 January 2012, there is a wait of 21 days from the date of the first rabies vaccination before a pet can enter or re-enter the UK if you are travelling from an EU or a listed non-EU country. If the vaccine manufactureru2019s data sheet requires more than one vaccination to complete the primary course of vaccinations, the 21 day wait applies from the date of the final vaccination of that course. Ask your vet for advice.

A 21 day waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date.

For pets entering the UK from unlisted countries, different rules apply. After your pet has been vaccinated, it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has worked and then serve out a three month waiting period.

Booster vaccinations

After your pet has been vaccinated, it will need regular booster vaccinations. These must be kept up to date and be given by the u201cValid untilu201d date in the relevant section of the EU pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate.

Booster vaccinations are valid for entry to the UK and other EU countries from the date given provided they are given on time (according to the instructions in the vaccine manufactureru2019s data sheet where the previous vaccination was given).

If the revaccination date is missed your animal will not meet the conditions of the scheme and will have to be vaccinated again and have to wait 21 days before it can move under the scheme.

Vaccination record

When your pet is vaccinated, make sure that your vet has recorded the following details on its vaccination record and passport or third country official veterinary certificate:

  • its date of birth/age
  • the microchip number, date of insertion and location of the microchip on the animal
  • the date of vaccination
  • the vaccine product name
  • the batch number
  • the date its booster vaccination is due (calculated by reference to the vaccine manufactureru2019s data sheet)