Pets Travel Scheme
Moving Pets Within The EU
The Pets Travel Scheme allows the movement of certain pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) from the UK to other qualifying countries (EU countries and certain non-EU countries) and back into the UK without the need for quarantine. The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other diseases. WernVets can carry out all the procedures necessary to obtain a pet passport, which will enable your pet to travel abroad under the Pets Travel Scheme.
Microchipping & Vaccination Against Rabies
To travel from the UK to most other qualifying countries all that is required is that the pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. We can then issue a pet passport and your pet is free to travel 3 weeks after the date of the vaccination. To travel back to the UK, however, is more complicated. We have to take a blood sample from your pet about a month after the rabies vaccination and can issue the passport which is valid for travelling out of the UK to any of the qualifying countries; however, the passport only allows re-entry to the UK from 6 months after the date of the blood test, assuming there is a satisfactory blood test result. In other words, if you are going on holiday with your pet and intending on coming back to the UK, the process of applying for a pet passport should begin at least 7 months before your intended date of departure.
Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK from non-qualifying countries must spend 6 months in quarantine on arrival.
The Procedures to Obtain a Pet Passport
- Have your pet microchipped: before any of the other procedures for PETS are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so that it can be properly identified.
- Have your pet vaccinated: after the microchip has been inserted, you must have your pet vaccinated against rabies (unless it is less than 3 months old).
- Arrange a blood test: a month after your pet has been vaccinated it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given it a satisfactory level of immunity against rabies.
- Obtain a pet passport: we will issue you with a passport once your pet has had a satisfactory blood test result.
Rabies Booster Vaccinations
For the passport to remain valid your pet must receive rabies booster vaccinations every 3 years. If this interval is exceeded, we will need to start the process again (vaccination, blood test and 6 month delay before re-entry to the UK). Although the vaccine is licensed for a 3 yearly interval in the UK, the same vaccine only has a license for a 1 year interval in many other countries on the scheme. In practice, this means that although the pet passport will remain valid for getting your pet into and out of all the countries on the scheme for the full 3 years, you cannot rely on it to satisfy local residency requirements. Your pet is normally classified as being 'resident' after staying in a country for 3 months and may then require yearly boosters. You need to check with the local authorities where you will be living.
Although we issue booster reminders, it is essential that you also keep a note of when the booster is due so the 3 year interval is not exceeded.
Tick & Tapeworm Treatment
Your pet must be treated against ticks and tapeworms not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before it is checked in with an approved transport company for its journey into the UK. This treatment is designed to prevent the introduction of various diseases into the UK and must be carried out by a vet. There is a section in the passport for the vet to fill in when he/she has administered the treatment.
As mentioned above, tick and tapeworm treatment is required under the scheme before re-entry to the UK. Please note this is not a requirement for leaving the UK to travel to most other countries on the scheme. However, it is still advisable to treat against ticks and tapeworms before leaving and whilst abroad and also against some other diseases which your pet could pick up or even transmit to you. Please phone us for advice on disease prevention. We may recommend the following measures depending on where you are going:
- protection against sandflies which can transmit leishmaniasis
- monthly treatment against heartworm
- monthly treatment against ticks which can transmit ehrlichiosis and babesiosis
- monthly treatment against tapeworm, especially Echinococcus multilocularis which can infect humans.
Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
How Much Will it Cost?
Costs change from time to time so for an up-to-date price please phone the surgery for a quote. The charges include:
- rabies vaccination
- rabies blood test
- administration fee for issuing a passport
Let us know if your pet has already been microchipped when getting a quote as this will reduce your overall cost.