Since 2012 Pets Can Travel to the UK!

Even as my bipeds fight bad head colds … we are so excited about this we can barely sit still!  At long last The UK will harmonize its pet movement rules with the rest of the European Union.  As of the 1st of January 2012 the UK (along with Ireland, Sweden and Malta) will leave behind the archaic six-month quarantine that has been in place from the 1800s. Pets can travel to the UK!

Montecristo the dog on the ferry to Santorini!

I feel another ferry ride in my future!!

All pets will still need to be vaccinated against rabies. Pets from the EU and listed non-EU countries such as the USA and Australia will no longer need a blood test and will only have to wait 21 days before they travel.

Pets from unlisted non-EU countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa will be able to enter the UK if they meet certain strict criteria to ensure they are protected against rabies, including a blood test and a three-month wait before they enter the UK.

Environment Secretary C. Spelman said:

“The UK’s quarantine system was designed to combat the threat of rabies in the 19th century and has now been left far behind by scientific advances. It’s time we changed these outdated rules which have caused hardship to generations of pets and pet owners, and those who rely on assistance dogs, with too many animals cooped up unnecessarily.”

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

“Scientific evidence shows that there is a robust alternative to quarantine in preventing rabies incursion from those countries where there is a high incidence of rabies and good reason for changing our very precautionary rules. The EU pet travel rules have been successful in preventing any cases of rabies occurring in legally moved pets since the scheme started, so harmonizing the UK’s rules with those of the EU will make it easier for those who wish to travel with their pets.”

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries:

What has to be done Now From 1 January 2012
Microchip Yes Yes
Rabies vaccination Yes Yes
Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate) Yes Yes
Blood test (dogs and cats) Yes No
Pre-entry waiting period Yes Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK 6 months from date  sample taken for blood test 21 days after vaccination against rabies
Tick treatment Yes (24-48 hours before embarkation) No
Tapeworm treatment Yes (as for ticks) Under consideration at European level


Entry rules for pets entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries:

What has to be done Now From 1 January 2012
Microchip All pets from unlisted third countries are licensed into quarantine for 6 months and vaccinated against rabies on arrival Yes
Rabies vaccination Yes
Blood test Yes.  Blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination
Documentation (third country certificate) Yes
Pre-entry waiting period Yes
Length of waiting period before entry to the UK 3 months after blood sample date
Tick treatment No
Tapeworm treatment Under consideration at European level

A more complete article is available on the subject. Always contact the UK embassy to confirm prior to travel. Pets can travel to the UK now … not easily… but it IS a start!

6 Comments on “Since 2012 Pets Can Travel to the UK!

  1. Hi there wee man,
    We’re back in London wondering if you made it up the Eiffel Tower & got over your cold!
    Enjoy the rest of your European tour!

    • Made it to the Eiffel Tower but not up – was not allowed! but I will post about that! We are also home and tomorrow the bipeds go back to work. It is hard to adjust!

  2. Wow! That was a law SERIOUSLY in need of updating! You’d wonder what took them sooooo long…especially since Brits are known for their love of dogs!

    • Australia has the same British law still in place … it is infuriating. It also… as you so wonderfully point out … is at odds with there love of dogs.

  3. I am glad the quarantine is cancelled, when we were living in London we were afraid to bring our spaniel there, because our friend’s dog couldn’t survive the quarantine and died there, 🙁

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