Returning to the UK with your pet

Pet Travel to the UK has been made easier and cheaper


The UK has harmonised its pet movement rules with the rest of the European Union, bringing the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme into line with the most recent science.


The UK will maintain its high level of protection against animal diseases after the changes, which have the potential to save pet owners around £7 million in fees.


Forcing pets to spend six months in quarantine, a practice dating from the 1800s, is no longer necessary because of vastly improved rabies vaccines and treatments.


All pets will still need to be vaccinated against rabies. Pets from the EU will no longer need a blood test and will only have to wait 21 days before they travel.


The UK will continue to protect the public against the risk of serious exotic tapeworm infections and is pressing to retain tapeworm controls for pets entering the UK. The government has been discussing with the European Commission the most appropriate form of tapeworm controls for dogs, to ensure the UK continues to be protected from Echinococcus multilocularis.


The Commission has recently indicated that its proposals, expected shortly, would enable the UK and other tapeworm-free countries to retain tapeworm controls, with a requirement that animals be treated between one and five days before returning to the UK. Dog tapeworm is common in southern Spain.


Tick treatment for pet animals returning to the UK is no longer be required. All pet owners travelling abroad with their animals should discuss with their vets the use of treatments, including those designed to control ticks as part of good animal health practice.


Detailed information on what pet owners and vets need to do before bringing a pet to the UK can be found on the Defra website or obtained from the UK helpline +44 (0)870 241 1710.


Entry rules for pets entering the UK from the EU:

What has to be done  From 1 Jan 2012
 Microchip  Yes
 Rabies vaccination  Yes
 Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate)  Yes
 Blood test (dogs and cats)  No
 Pre-entry waiting period  Yes
 Length of waiting period before entry to the UK  21 days after vaccination against rabies
 Tick treatment  No
 Tapeworm treatment  Under consideration at European level