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Newly introduced

The start of 2015 saw the introduction of

new-style passports to the Pet Travel Scheme.

The Pet Travel Scheme (

known as PETS

) allows






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:


pet passports