The Pet Travel Scheme, or PETS for short, was introduced into the UK as a way to make transporting your pet easier than ever before. Using a pet passport to record medications and treatments, many pets are now able to move easily and freely across borders with minimal disturbance. The PETS scheme allows animals to enter and leave the UK without needing to be quarantined, so long as they meet the requirements of the scheme.
As these requirements change regularly, pet owners planning to make use of the scheme should regularly check for any updates or changes that may affect the smooth transportation of their pet.
What Pets Are Covered By The Pet Travel Scheme?
Sadly the PETS scheme does not at present cover all pets, however the government had made an effort to ensure that at least the most commonly-transported animals are fully covered. In short, the legislation currently applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. Other animals may still be liable to quarantine and so further enquiries should be sought. Additionally, while the pet transport scheme covers these three types of pets, there are still rules that must be followed in order to be applicable for PETS transportation rules.
What Are The Rules?
In order to be covered by the Pet Travel Scheme your pet must firstly be microchipped. As it is almost impossible to remove a properly imbedded microchip, this helps to uniquely identify your pet as yours, allowing the authorities to be certain that the paperwork presented does indeed relate to your specific pet.
Second of all, your pet must have a valid rabies vaccination. You must be able to provide paperwork to prove this from a registered veterinarian. In addition, dogs must have received a recent treatment for tapeworm. Note that the legislation is quite specific about exactly when this treatment should have been given so be certain that it is given at the appropriate time. At present, cats and ferrets do not need to be treated for tapeworms to still be covered by the legislation.
Your pet will then require paperwork. When entering (or re-entering) the UK from an EU country you will require a pet passport or official veterinary certificate. For countries not covered by the pet passport scheme you will require not only a veterinary certificate but also a blood test proving the efficacy of your pet’s rabies vaccine.
What Happens If I Can’t Meet These Requirements?
If you are unable to meet these requirements for whatever reason, your pet will either need to enter quarantine for the specified period of time or it will be denied travel. Bearing in mind the cost and frustration of just such as experience, you should be absolutely certain that you have ticked all the necessary boxes before travel.
If in doubt, consider speaking to a pet shipping company who will be well-versed in the latest pet transportation requirements or contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline (https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/pet-travel-scheme-helpline).