Pet Passports 

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was introduced in 2000 to allow dogs and cats travelling within the EU to avoid the need to enter quarantine.

Your pet will require a valid pet passport to travel.

There are several steps which need to be completed before a pet passport can be provided, these are outlined below. At St George’s Vets, we will guide you through the whole process before completing your animal’s personal pet passport at the end.

  • STEP 1: Your animal must be MICROCHIPPED
  • STEP 2: Your animal must receive a RABIES VACCINATION. This can be given in the same consultation as the microchip, but your pet need to be at least 12 weeks old before Rabies Vaccination.
  • STEP 3: A PET PASSPORT is completed and your animal can then travel from 21 days after the date of the rabies vaccination
  • STEP 4: TAPEWORM TREATMENT (dogs only): before entering the UK, all pet dogs must be treated for tapeworm. The European tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis can cause dangerous cysts in human livers. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before the scheduled arrival time in the UK. Sections in your dog’s passport must be completed by the foreign vet to certify that the tapeworm treatment has been administered, including information on the drug used and the time it was given.
  • STEP 5: Arrange for your animal to travel with an APPROVED TRANSPORT COMPANY on an AUTHORISED ROUTE

Please note: the above regulations were amended on 1st January 2012. Prior to this a BLOOD TEST was performed 30 days after the Rabies Vaccination to check level of anti-Rabies antibodies in your pet’s blood. Although this is no longer a requisite for travel, we would still advise clients to have this test performed, to ensure their pet is protected prior to travel. There is a small risk of your animal failing the blood test which means that the rabies antibody level is inadequate to protect your pet against rabies. In this case a repeat rabies vaccination and repeat blood test should be considered.

There is also no longer a mandatory requirement for tick treatment. However, it is advisable that pets are protected against ticks as certain European ticks can carry serious diseases, some of which are zoonoses (possible spreasd to humans)

To keep your animal’s pet passport valid, a Rabies Vaccination must be administered at intervals determined by the vaccine manufacturer. At St George’s Vets, our Rabies Vaccinations are given every 3 years. The date your animal is due the next Rabies Vaccination will be written in the passport. It is important to note that Rabies Vaccination must be given on or before the date written in the passport.

We will send you a reminder in the post well before your pet’s rabies vaccination is due. However, we would advise you to book an appointment for Rabies Vaccination a few days before it expires. If you then need to cancel the appointment (ill health, car breaks down etc.) you can simply rebook for the next day, without invalidating your passport.

Some European countries (for example Norway) have their own rules regarding import of pets and the timing of rabies blood tests. If you have any queries, please phone us.

If you have any further queries, the PETS Helpline is 0870 2411710 and is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Further advice and tips, including useful phrases in foreign languages, can be found at the following DEFRA web address:

If you are travelling to non EU countries, we advise phoning us or the PETS helpline well before the anticipated date of travel as the regulations can be protracted and complicated

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