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Pet Travel and Pet Passports

Dog Glasses by www.dog-goes.comPet Travel:  An complex topic but one well covered by




Here's a topical and informative write-up by Stephen Lloyd - thanks Steve!

Taking Pets Abroad:

I am writing this in the hope that it is useful to other members thinking of taking their pets abroad. My wife and I have a Labrador (Jack) who is now 16 months old. We first took him abroad to France in September 2004. It seemed a daunting task at first, but believe me, nothing could be easier. I have to stress that I can only talk from experience about travelling to France, as we have not yet ventured any further afield.

Before you go:

Firstly your pet has to be micro-chipped and then immunised against Rabies. The process is quite simple. Your vet will microchip him/her and either then or at a later date immunise him/her against rabies. One month later they will take a blood sample. This sample will be sent off to the laboratory for testing. If this sample gives the all clear you can get your pet passport and take your pet abroad. But before you do, you need to know the following.

Your pet CANNOT come back into the UK until 6 months after the date the blood test was taken, not the date they were immunised or when you got the all clear. This is extremely important to remember, as you can take your pet out of the UK but you cannot re-enter until after the 6 months.

Before you come back to the UK:

You have to take your pet to a Vet and have them treated against tapeworm and ticks. Basically the vet will give them a couple of worming tablets and treat them with ‘Frontline’ against ticks. This has to be done within a time frame of 24-48 hours prior to boarding the ferry/euro tunnel. In other words, your pet has to be treated no longer than 48 hours before boarding and no earlier than 24 hours before boarding. i.e. your ferry is at 1pm on the Thursday. Your pet will have to be treated AFTER 1pm on the Tuesday and BEFORE 1pm on the Wednesday.

The cost in France for this treatment is approximately 60 euros. The vet that I went to in Mayenne told me that if I had taken the tick treatment and worming tablets with me then I wouldn’t have had to pay them for it. (This is worth bearing in mind, but I cannot say if other vets share this view. You must make sure it is the correct brand of treatment you take with you, as it must contain certain chemicals, check with your vet). Once the vet has treated your pet, the vet HAS to complete an entry in your pets’ passport in the correct pages. They have to put the time and date your pet was treated. (Remember this has to be between 24 and 48 hours before you board your ferry/euro tunnel.

On return to the UK.

As soon as you arrive at the ferry port/euro tunnel, take your pet and their passport to the check-in desk of the carrier you are using (P&O, Norfolkline etc.). They will then check the documentation and scan your pets microchip, you may also have to sign a declaration stating you have not been to a country outside the EU or one that is not listed with DEFRA. When you disembark in the UK you can continue your journey home, there is no need to report anywhere that you are have your pet with you. You may of course be stopped by customs and excise as a routine stop!!

For more help and assistance visit the DEFRA website www.defra.gov.uk this is an excellent website and should answer most of your questions. From the home page click on ‘Pet Travel Scheme’ This will take you to a page headed ‘Bringing pets to the UK’ if you then click on the link ‘Pet Travel Scheme’ this will take you a new page headed ‘Pet travel scheme’ on this page is a link called ‘Make sure your trip goes smoothly’ click on this link and it will take you to a page with lots of other useful links such as, where to find a vet in the country you are travelling to and ‘useful French phrases’ which you can print off and give to the vet if you are like me and cannot speak the language. I would advise that you find the vets as soon as possible when you arrive and make an appointment to fit in with your travel arrangements and the 24-48 hour rule.

Simple steps to remember:

A) before you go...

1. Have pet micro-chipped
2. Have pet immunised against rabies
3. Have blood test taken
4. When blood test result gives all clear, get passport completed by vet.
5. Take pet abroad (remembering the 6 month rule)

B) for/on return to UK

1. Have pet treated for tapeworm and ticks (24-48 hour rule applies)
2. Report to carrier and have pet scanned and paperwork completed
3. Disembark and drive home

SIMPLE!!!!    Stephen Lloyd - 26/03/05.

More volunteer(s) needed to write up or compare their own similar or different experiences so others can get plenty of real hands-on info on how it's done! 


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