With the world looking on at the devastation unfurling in Ukraine, our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people. Having a life so needlessly turned upside down in a matter of minutes has led to many having to flee their homeland.
Some have been lucky and managed to find refuge in neighbouring countries. Others are still waiting to find a place they may be able to call home. Having to leave the family home at short notice poses a lot of last minute and worrying questions. What can we bring with us? Where do we go? What about our pets?
For those bringing a pet to the UK from Ukraine it has been made easier following changes made by the UK government, as follows:
- Animal and Plant Health Agency providing quick approvals to expedite emergency licence process
- Government covering the costs of any necessary stays in quarantine for the pets of those fleeing Ukraine
- Vaccination & microchip costs covered
(Government rules were implemented in March 2022 and will be subject to change in relation to any de-escalation or escalation in conflict.)
What are the UK government doing for people fleeing Ukraine with their pets?
If you were choosing to bring your pet from Ukraine to the UK, you would normally have to follow a certain protocol to ensure all legal processes are followed which could take some time. Since March 2022, using an emergency licence, people fleeing Ukraine can bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine, vaccination & microchipping costs met by the Government. The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays.
With the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, a change was clearly needed to help the Ukrainian people and their pets. With many refugees having to make journeys through Poland, Germany and France, much loved pets were being left abandoned. This was clearly a heart-breaking decision. The latest estimates are that over half of the 2.5 million that have left the country had pets with them.
Realising that many Ukrainian pet owners will not be able to complete the full vaccine preparations proper to their pets arrival in the UK, the Animal Plant and Health Agency will be covering vaccination & microchipping costs.
The government has agreed to cover the costs of quarantine for pets bought in from the Ukraine and will expedite license approvals and make the necessary quarantine arrangements to avoid further delays and burdens to Ukrainian pet owners.
Please note, the government will consider pets on a case by case basis- the maximum stay in quarantine for a pet with no rabies vaccination will be 4 months.
You can find full details on the UK government’s website here:
Where did the pet care initiative come from?
This initiative came out of communication between lobbyists, animal welfare minister Zac Goldsmith and environment secretary George Eustace. Within these conversations, Dominic Dyer expressed concern that without change to the current UK animal entry laws, Ukrainian refugees would suffer more undue emotional pain: “If the UK policy remains, we could see tens of thousands of dogs and cats having to be euthanized in Poland, Hungary and Romania in the weeks ahead.” He went on to add, “Each of these animal deaths would bring further misery to the women and children who have escaped war.” With pet travel to UK laws being particularly stringent, the announcement from the government was welcomed. It was seen by many as bringing the country in line with other European nations.
Could a Ukrainian refugee bring their pet to my house?
As mentioned above, all pet entry will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, meaning that some will require quarantine but others won’t. If you have opted to house a family from the Ukraine, as long as the pet has passed its quarantine period, it can stay with you, subject to any tenancy agreements you may have.
If the pet does not require any quarantine, it should be able to come straight to your home.
How can the process be started?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can advise you of the next steps.
At PBS Pet Travel, we specialise in the transportation of animals across the world. We have helped over 5000 pets in over 183 countries. If you know anybody evacuating the Ukraine who needs help getting their pets into the UK, contact us today. Our sympathetic and knowledgeable team will be able to assist with any questions