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Pet travel scheme - coming into the U.K. from the E.U.

Discussion in 'Legal Information for Dog owners' started by Josie, Apr 4, 2018.

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  1. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    In recent years, the rules for bringing a dog into the U.K. have been relaxed, making holidays abroad with your dog much more accessible.

    Before coming to the U.K. or returning after a break in the E.U. (and a few other countries specified by the U.K. government) your dog must have the following:
    • a microchip for identification
    • a valid pet passport
    • an up to date rabies vaccination
    In the U.K. dogs must be microchipped by the age of 8 weeks (with a small number of exemptions on health grounds) so if you are planning on taking your dog on holiday, that requirement will already have been met. However, in advance of your holiday in the E.U. you must have your dog vaccinated against rabies and issued with a pet passport. The passport records the details of the rabies vaccination and your dog's microchip number so the information held on the passport can be matched to your dog.

    The rabies vaccination only becomes fully effective after 21 days. This means that you can travel to the E.U. immediately but you may not return to the U.K. until 21 days have passed. Boosters for the rabies vaccination are needed every three years, and provided there is no gap in cover, the 21 day rule doesn't have to be met every time.

    Before coming into the U.K. your dog needs to see a vet who will scan your dog to make sure the passport belongs to him, give a worming tablet (not needed for Finland, Ireland or Malta), and record the date and time on the passport. Generally, vets further away from ports are less expensive but also may be less experienced - so double check the information has been recorded correctly. Even using a different pen to record the time of the treatment and to then sign the passport can be challenged by the port staff, so it is really important to make sure this has been done correctly. You may not re-enter the U.K. for at least 24 hours, but you must be back on U.K. soil before 120 hours have passed.

    Before check-in at your port of return, you will visit a pet check-in area. There, your dog's microchip will be scanned and matched against the passport you present, to confirm your dog has indeed been vaccinated against rabies and wormed within the correct timescales. It is actually a good idea to visit a vet a few days before leaving the U.K. to make sure the dog's microchip is still functioning properly and has not moved, because if this is the case, it is too late to resolve the problem if you only find out at your return date. The port staff will authorise your dog's entry and that's it. It takes very little time, although you will be asked to allow up to 30 minutes before your own check-in in case of queues. It is certainly very straightforward and means that if you want to take your dog on holiday, you no longer need to worry about quarantine.

    Please note that while the above information applies to the E.U. and other specified countries, different rules apply to travel from outside Europe.

    For full details and further information, visit Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK - GOV.UK

    Author: @JoanneF
    Violet Turner likes this.

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