The start of 2015 saw the introduction of
new-style passports to the Pet Travel Scheme.
The Pet Travel Scheme (
known as PETS
to come back into the UK after a trip within the
European Union (EU) without the need for quarantine. Some other countries around the world are also included in the
scheme. The list of countries is changing all the time.
If you are thinking of taking your pet on holiday within the EU, it is worth planning well in advance because certain
criteria must be met. These are:
Your pet must be 12 weeks of age or older
He or she must have a microchip
He or she must have an up-to-date vaccination against rabies
You must wait a minimum of 21 days after the rabies vaccination before you leave the UK
A PETS passport must be issued
When you are travelling, security checks are carried out at the borders, and your pet will need to travel back into the UK
by an approved route.
If you are travelling with a dog, you will need to arrange to see a vet while you are overseas and on the way back to the
UK, so that your dog can have tapeworm treatment. The timing of this treatment is critical – it must be 24 to 120 hours
(i.e. 1 to 5 days) before coming back into the UK, and a vet will need to record this within the relevant section of the
PETS passport. This treatment is not required for cats or ferrets.
The new PETS passports, issued from January 2015, include laminated pages to help increase the security of the Pet Travel
Scheme. New rules have been introduced, requiring vets issuing the document to provide extra contact details. If your pet
has an old-style passport, however, there is no need to get an new one – they are still valid until all the treatment spaces
within the passport are filled up.
For those who are hoping to take their pets further afield, outside the EU, it is worth remembering that other countries
may have strict entry requirements. It is best to start preparing for this several months in advance.
Wherever you choose to go, we recommend that you consider the need for treatment for ticks and biting insects. These
bugs can transmit potentially life-threatening diseases, against which UK pets will have very little immunity. There are
effective, easy to use insecticidal spot-on treatments available or, alternatively, medicated collars. It is no longer a legal
requirement for pets to be treated against ticks when entering the UK, however.
At Willows Veterinary Centre all three of our general practice vets are fully trained to issue passports. We recommend that
you arrange a pre-travel appointment well in advance so that you can enjoy a stress-free trip.
Full details of the Pet Travel Scheme, including a list of participating countries, can be found at:www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad