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Pets travel scheme

September 18, 2019

The PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) enables cats, dogs and ferrets to enter or re-enter the UK from EU Member States, as well as listed third countries, without quarantine. Our friendly vets are happy to offer pet advice on the pet passport scheme and other travelling animals. However, it is the responsibility of the owner to check the requirements of the country that the pet is travelling to.

This page gives a brief overview of the requirements of PETS but please visit the DEFRA website for more up-to-date and comprehensive information about the Pet Travel Scheme.

Requirements of the scheme include:

  • The pet must be at least 12 weeks of age to start the PETS process
  • The pet must be microchipped with a European ISO standard microchip prior to, or on the day of, the rabies vaccination
  • The pet must receive a rabies vaccination, and then a further booster every 2-3 years according to the pets vaccination manufacturer or local authority legislation. For example, French legislation requires resident pets to be given an annual vaccination against rabies. Pets are considered resident if they have spent 3 months in France.

To avoid any unexpected complications, our veterinary practice advises pet owners to check with DEFRA prior to travel, regarding the requirements of the countries they intend to travel to or through. Failure to boost a rabies vaccination at the appropriate interval will invalidate the Pet Passport.

Since January 1, 2012, pets travelling from EU member states and listed countries no longer require blood testing for rabies antibody titres following the rabies vaccination

There is no longer a requirement for pets to be given treatment for ticks before they arrive in the UK, although we still strongly recommend it for the health of your pet.

Tapeworm (Echinococcus Multilocularis) treatment, known as Praziquantel, must be administered by a qualified veterinary surgeon 1 – 5 days before you return to the UK. This should be recorded in section VII of the passport.

You must wait 21 days from the date on which your pet was vaccinated against rabies before leaving the UK. The day of your pets vaccination counts as day zero

If you wish to travel with your pets under the Pet Travel Scheme, please book an appointment with one of our veterinary practice surgeons to discuss details further. Following the rabies vaccination and completion of an EU Pet Passport application form, an EU Pet Passport issuing will be processed. The application process takes 2-4 weeks for completion, so please ensure that you start applying in good time prior to your anticipated date of travel to avoid any delays.