Recently I’ve been doing a lot of research on the rules around bringing pets in and out of the UK, and I thought that I better share my findings with you.
For anyone who is interesting in travelling with their cat, dog or ferret (seriously), then please read on.
* 2014 Update: My mum is moving to Warsaw, Poland from Brisbane, and she has made all travel arrangements for my cat Roxy with JetPets. So far, they have been amazing. Very supportive, understanding and helpful, so I do recommend them as a great pet carrier to get your pet from Australia to Europe. They ensure the pets have lots of room, are fed their preferred food, are well looked after and they even get ‘cuddle time’ during the minimum 8 hour layover (which is a legal requirement). Plus, if they can manage to move a tiger from Poland to Australia, then I fully trust them to move my mini tiger Roxy in the opposite direction 🙂
Pet travel rules changed on 1 January 2012 when the UK brought its procedures in line with the European Union, so I strongly encourage that before you make any further arrangements, contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0870 241 1710 to ensure that there haven’t been any further changes to the law.
The below information was obtained from www.defra.gov.uk on 30th May 2012.
From Jan 2012, all pets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.
1) Have you pet microchipped.
2) Have your pet vaccinated.
3) Get pet travel documentation.
4) Tapework treatment (dogs only)
5) Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Make sure you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and your pet’s documentation is correctly completed. 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 will cost you money.
Dangerous dogs in Great Britain
In Great Britain, it is illegal to possess certain types of dogs. If you bring one of these dogs into Great Britain, you could be prosecuted and the dog seized and ‘destroyed’ (I hate when they use that word!).
Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits four types of dog:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
Visit this site for more information: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/dangerous/
Currently there are no rabies or tapeworm import requirements for other species of pet animals (rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles) transported to the UK from EU Member States and other European countries (Andorra, Switzerland, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State). These species of pet animals may move freely to the UK.
Pet rabbits and rodents
Pet rabbits and rodents imported into the UK from any non-EU country, other than those listed above, must be licensed into quarantine for 4 months under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974. However quarantine will not be required if the animal is a rodent or lagomorph which is licensed into a zoo or research premises for scientific research.
For more information on importing live birds, hatching eggs and SPF eggs, please visit the official website.
As previously mentioned, from 1 January 2012 entry conditions for pets change as the UK brings its rules into line with the European Union. As part of these changes pets from unlisted thirds countries are no longer required to enter quarantine provided they meet certain pre-entry requirements (Refer to information above). Quarantine arrangements will remain in place to deal with animals that do not meet the new entry requirements.
If your pet does not meet the new entry requirements you will need to choose a suitable quarantine premise. For more information please visit the relevant website.
Taking your pet abroad
The rules above are consistent with the rules for all EU countries. Once your pet has received the vaccinations, be sure to keep all documents and don’t forget to get any necessary boosters, and you and your pet won’t have any problems travelling in and out of the UK.
If you want to travel outside of the EU, you must check with that particular country and see what the quarantine rules are.
Returning to Australia/NZ
For pets travelling to Australia or New Zealand from the UK, your pet will be required to stay in quarantine on arrival for at least
one month 2 weeks during which you will not be able to visit or have any contact with your pet.
NB: New quarantine laws came into play in November 2013, where the minimum quarantine time from the UK was reduced from 1 month to two weeks.
Quarantine times can vary from country to country, so for more information on Australian animal customs, please visit: http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs