The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
In 2001 PETS was introduced allowing you to take your cat or dog to most countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia, and return to the UK without putting the animal into quarantine, but maintaining the rabies free status of Britain. It has made it increasingly easy for you to take your pets with you on holiday or moving away for longer periods.
To qualify for exemption from quarantine, you must meet certain strict conditions relating to your pets health status. Pets that don't meet all the rules of the scheme must be licensed into quarantine which can be up to 6 months.
In Britain, passports are issued by government-authorised vets known as local veterinary inspectors (LVI), here at Alphapet all the partners are LVI's.
A pet passport is a document that officially records information to a specific animal, as part of that procedure.
When you have selected your destination, we strongly advise you to visit the government website, or telephone DEFRA to check that the country you plan to visit is part of the scheme, if there are any additional requirements for that country and which routes of travel are authorised.
PETS helpline: 0870 241 1710 Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm
Pet Passport Protocol:
If you want to return to the UK with your animal it will take approximately 3 weeks until the passport is valid so planning ahead is essential.
These are the following steps required to complete a pet passport:
1. Microchip implanted, we would also strongly advise that your pets booster vaccinations are up to date and a parasitic treatment is carried out.
2. 1st Rabies vaccination (pet should be at least 3 months old)
3. Optional but recommended 2nd rabies vaccination, this can be done 2 weeks later and is recommended for puppies under 12 months of age or any animal with a poor immune system or on steroids.
4. After your pet has been successfully vaccinated, they will be able to re-enter the UK no less than 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination.
You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary documentation for your pet to enter the UK. Make sure that it is correctly completed and your pet meets all the rules. 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 cost you money.
To maintain a validated passport, if you for example intend to travel again, take your pet on holiday etc, it is very important that your pet has a rabies booster which is every 3 years (unless otherwise started or wanted via other country regulations). If the vaccine is given a day late the passport will need to be restarted. The rabies vaccination date is clearly marked on your pet passport and we also send reminder cards, but it is your responsibility to ensure the booster rabies injection is given in due time.
Returning to the UK:
Pet dogs must be tapeworm treated no less then 24 hours and no more the 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. This treatment must be carried out and recorded in the passport by an official veterinarian. Tick treatment is also recommended please check defra website before travelling to confirm what treatment is compulsory.
Checklist (for animals entering the UK from other EU member states and approved non-EU countries):
NB: If you are travelling to Mediterranean areas it is important to protect your pets from mosquitoes and sand flies. Mosquitoes are intermediate hosts for heartworm. Sand flies can pass a serious infection called Leishmaniasis, both these parasites feed on your pets blood.