Since the UK left the European Union, new rules have come into force regarding the travel of pets. This article describes the current position regarding the introduction of cats, dogs and ferrets to England, Scotland and Wales.
Before Brexit, UK pet owners could travel freely with their cats and dogs between EU countries, provided their pet was microchipped and also had a pet passport. . Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the rules for pet travel have changed and are now more complex. This article focuses on the rules for bringing cats, dogs and ferrets to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Different rules apply to other types of animals, to animals traveling in Northern Ireland and to non-UK native species.
When can you bring a pet cat, dog or ferret to Britain?
You cannot bring more than 5 pets to Great Britain unless you are traveling because of a competition, show or sporting event. You can enter or return to Great Britain with your pet cat, dog or ferret if they have:
- been microchipped by a veterinarian, veterinary nurse or other approved person before or at the same time as their rabies vaccination;
- either a pet passport or a UK health certificate (this will depend on the country you are traveling from – see below); and
- been vaccinated against rabies – if you are from a country that is not considered a “listed” country, your pet will also need to have a blood test.
Dogs should also generally receive tapeworm treatment at least 24 hours and at most 120 hours before entering Britain – tapeworm treatment is not necessary if traveling directly to Great Britain from Finland , Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta or Norway. Your pet must arrive in Great Britain no more than 5 days before or after you, otherwise you must follow different rules. Additional rules must be followed if the animal is sold or relocated in Britain.
Failure to follow the rules can result in your pet being quarantined for up to four months, and if you’ve traveled by sea, your pet may also be refused entry. You would then be responsible for any costs or charges incurred as a result.
Where are you from ?
The specific requirements for your pet will depend on whether you have traveled from a country listed in “Part 1” (which includes EU countries), a country listed in “Part 2”, or a country “No”. listed ”.
- Countries listed in part 1 – If you have traveled from a country listed in Part 1, a ‘Pet Passport’ or ‘Great Britain Pet Health Certificate’ will be accepted for your pet’s entry.
- Countries listed in part 2 – If you have traveled from a country listed in Part 2, pet passports are not accepted and your pet will need a UK Pet Health Certificate.
- Countries not listed – If you have traveled from a country not listed, your pet will need a UK Pet Health Certificate. Additional rules on rabies, vaccinations and blood tests will also apply.
Photocopies of documents will not be sufficient and original documents must be provided at the entrance. No documentation is required for animals entering Britain from Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Be aware that there are additional rules for cats coming from Australia and cats or dogs coming from Malaysia. It should also be noted that only certain approved itineraries and travel companies can be used for pets to enter Britain and these should be checked before your trip. Other routes are open to those traveling with guide and assistance dogs.
What happens when you arrive in Great Britain?
Your pet’s microchip and documentation will be verified upon arrival and can be verified before you board your transport. If your pet is coming from outside the European Union, it will need to go through customs before it can be picked up. Agents, travel agencies, or airlines will usually be able to get your pet through customs for a fee.
Can someone else travel with your pet?
Another person can bring your pet into the country with them, as long as you have given permission in writing and have submitted all the appropriate documents for your pet before their trip. International pet transport services can also make arrangements to transport your pet without you.
Covid-19 and quarantine
If you are traveling to Great Britain from a “Red List” country, you should not bring your pet with you unless you are required to. If you must stay in a managed quarantine hotel, your pet will not be able to stay with you (except for assistance dogs). Arrangements will need to be in place for the care of your pet while you are in quarantine. Ferrets from outside the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man should be kept away from other ferrets and people from other households for 21 days due to of the risk of them catching and spreading new variants of the coronavirus.