DEFRA Guidelines

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules. It also means that people in the UK can take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries, and return with them to the UK. They can also, having taken their dogs, cats and ferrets to certain non-EU countries, bring them back to the UK without the need for quarantine. The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other diseases.

Dogs, cats and ferrets

The UK does not permit the import of dogs, cats and ferrets that have not been vaccinated against rabies. Once they have reached the minimum age for vaccination (as stated on the vaccine manufacturer's datasheet) they must be prepared in accordance with all the requirements explained on this website, taking account of the required order of preparation.

PETS only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets travelling between the UK and certain countries and territories. Dogs, cats and ferrets must not have been outside any of these countries in the 6 calendar months before entering the UK.

Before travelling, you must make sure that your pet cats and dogs (including assistance dogs) or your ferret meets all the rules of the Scheme.

Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK under PETS may only do so on certain sea, air and rail routes.

Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK from non-qualifying (unlisted) countries must spend 6 months in quarantine on arrival.

Pet rabbits, rodents and other pets

The European regulation which sets the rules for dogs, cats and ferrets to travel between European Community countries and into the Community from other countries also covers the movement of other pet animals:

For details on importing commercially traded animals see the animal imports and exports pages. It is against the law in Great Britain to possess certain types of animals and meeting the requirements of PETS will not change that.

You are responsible for ensuring that your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Make sure that you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and that your pet’s documentation is correctly completed. If you do not, your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be licensed into quarantine on arrival. This will mean delay and cost you money.

The European Parliament and Council have agreed the UK’s derogation should be extended by 18 months to 31st December 2011. This means that there will be no change to the current requirements until that time.

The European Parliament and Council have advised that numbers of dogs, cats and ferrets entering from one EU Member State into another will be limited to 5 per person as of 26th May 2010. This limit and is applicable to all pets entering into the UK and also those leaving the UK for EU destinations. A limit of 5 pets is already enforced for entries of animals from listed non-EU countries.

See also

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