From 1st January 2012 the rules for bringing dogs and cats into the UK have changed. All pets will still need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Pets from the EU and listed non-EU countries such as the USA and Australia will no longer need a blood test and will only have to wait 21 days before they travel. Pets from unlisted non-EU countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa will be able to enter the UK if they meet certain strict criteria to ensure they are protected against rabies, including a blood test and a three-month wait before they enter the UK.
Please call the surgery to discuss these changes if your pet does not yet have a passport and you are planning travel. All our vets are Official Veterinarians and are registered with the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) enabling Hook Veterinary Centre to issue pet passports.
Before travelling within the EU and Qualifying countries
- A microchip
- Rabies vaccination
We can then issue your pet with an authorised EU passport. Your pet is then able to travel freely within the EU and Qualifying countries 21 days after the rabies vaccination has been administered.
Each year, before going abroad, we would encourage you to consult the AHVLA (Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agencies) and DEFRA websites to ensure that your requirements for travel have not changed.
It is essential to protect your pet from ticks, mosquitoes and sandflies when abroad. Diseases caused by these can cause fatal illness. Please ask one of our vets for advice on the most effective products to protect your pets.
If your pet is visiting a country outside the EU, please contact Animal Health or DEFRA to verify the relevant import requirements. Please ring us for any further advice.
Plan ahead as your pet may require an AHVLA issued export health certificate.
Treat your pet with the preventative anti-parasite medication we have provided.
It may be worth considering taking out additional travel insurance cover for your pet, please contact your pet insurance provider to enquire about this service. Remember that you are subject to the laws of the country you are in, and therefore you may be liable for damage caused by your pet.
Before returning to the UK
Your pet will need specific tapeworm treatments before returning. These must be administered not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before departure by air, sea or Channel Tunnel back to the UK. Please visit a veterinary surgeon abroad on your departure back to the UK. The vet will administer the treatment and fill in the appropriate pages for you in your pet’s passport.
Make sure the vet fills out the time of day as well as the date of treatment to ensure that there is no confusion.
Maintaining your pet on the Travel Scheme
As long as your pet has a booster vaccination against rabies before their present vaccine expires, the scheme simply rolls over and the pet passport remains current. If you travel a lot with your pet and certain pages become filled in the passport please contact us and we can issue a new passport. In the UK, any veterinary surgeon may give a rabies booster but only a DEFRA Official Veterinarian may sign a passport.
We send out postal reminders a minimum of a month in advance of your pet’s due date but please devise your own reminder system as a safe guard. While we will do our best to let you know when the rabies vaccination is due, the responsibility to keep all vaccinations up to date remains with you, the owner.
We use a vaccine that is licensed to protect against rabies for three years for dogs or cats resident in the UK. The rules regarding how often the vaccine needs to be administered vary from country to country. We are happy to discuss the implications of this if your pet is scheduled to have a prolonged stay abroad.
If you would like any advice regarding the above, please contact the surgery.