Home > Pet Travel Safety > All About The Pet Passport Scheme

All About The Pet Passport Scheme

Author: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 3 February 2014 | commentsComment
Pet Passport Scheme Pet Travel Scheme

The Pet Passport Scheme – otherwise known as the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) – was introduced so that pets entering or returning to the UK would not need to undergo the usual compulsory 6-month quarantine period to protect against rabies.

Through this scheme, pets should be able to travel freely and easily between member countries of the EU and certain non-EU countries which have qualified under the scheme – provided that they satisfy the health and safety requirements, particularly with regards to rabies vaccinations and followed the correct procedure. Pets included in the scheme are dogs, cats and ferrets.

The Rules

The UK has strict rules which prohibits the import of dogs, cats and ferrets that have not been vaccinated against rabies. However, under PETS, pets originating from other EU countries or from certain countries outside the EU may enter the UK without the 6-month quarantine period if they can be shown to have been vaccinated against rabies and tested negative for the disease, within a certain time frame of arrival. In addition, they must enter the UK only on certain sea, air and rail routes.

Any dog, cat or ferret coming from a country that does not qualify under PETS will have to undergo the compulsory 6-month quarantine on arrival.

The Requirements

To bring your dog, cat or ferret into the UK under the Pets Passport Scheme, you must follow the following procedure, in strict order:
  • Have your pet microchipped so that it can be properly identified.
  • Have your pet vaccinated against rabies by a certified veterinarian. (Your pet must be given a rabies vaccination AFTER it has been microchipped – there is no exemption to this rule, even if it had a current rabies vaccination before being microchipped.
  • A blood test will be required if you are taking your pet to a unlisted third country and returning to the UK or EU member state at a later date.
  • Following the satisfactory test result and the veterinarian issuing the PETS documentation, your passport will be valid 21 days after the vaccination.
  • Your pet must be treated for ticks and tapeworms by a certified veterinarian not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before it is checked in with an approved transport company for travel to the UK.
  • Your pet must only travel with an approved animal transport company and enter the UK on an authorised route.

Note: these requirements do not apply for pets travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Points to Remember

  • Don’t forget to update your contact details on the microchip database before travelling, as this will help reunite you with your pet should it go missing while you’re on holiday.
  • Ask your vet to scan and check the microchip to make sure that it is readable and has not migrated and “got lost”. A pet which cannot be identified by microchip will be forced to go into quarantine, even if it has all the correct PETS documentation.
  • If your pet has been previously vaccinated for rabies, make sure that you check the “Valid until” date on your PETS documentation and get its boosters done in time.
  • Make sure you find a vet in a convenient location who can give your pet the necessary tick and tapeworm treatment within the 24-48hr timeframe, before entry into the UK.
  • Ensure that your veterinarian has completed all the PETS documentation, including the date and time of treatment (using the 24hr clock) and the product used, and that the Pet Passport has been stamped.

For more information about the Pet Passport scheme visit www.gov.uk/pet-travel.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
I have a friend from algeria that is planning to live in uk and has an earth turtle that she wishes to bring with her. What she has to do in order to bring it with her ?
Jovi - 13-Jun-11 @ 12:33 PM
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Our Quick Links
Latest Comments
  • Gemma
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    @why - you are absolutely right that Staffie's are lovely dogs, it is the owners that in general give them a bad name!
    24 March 2015
  • why
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    Staffordshire Bull Terriers are wonderful pets. They have an affectionate personality's and humorous characteristics , my dad has…
    21 March 2015
  • Rusty1
    Re: Dog Safety for Kids
    I cannot believe how dull people are with family pets and babies? Beggars belief.
    2 March 2015
  • SaferPets
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    @dcb89 - it is difficult to say, as you don't say whether you want a quiet dog, because you have a busy household, or one that may…
    26 February 2015
  • dcb89
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    Hi all, Me and boyfriend have been looking into getting a puppy. We have 2 young children aged 2 & 4 who get very hyper and loud…
    24 February 2015
  • SaferPets
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    @Kate - you may find something in this document on this RSPCA report on Improving Dog Ownership regarding dog bites in the UK.…
    9 February 2015
  • kate
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Children
    Hi, Does anyone know where I can find the survey on dog bites? I am doing a dissertation on children and dog safety and it would…
    8 February 2015
  • Jack
    Re: Pet Poison Prevention
    @angie - I imagine anti-freeze may kill their fish along with harming the cats, which I imagine is counter-intuitive. But to lose four cats…
    3 February 2015
  • angie
    Re: Pet Poison Prevention
    i was wondering if it is illegal for people to put antifreeze in their fish ponds as i suspect our neighbour is doing so and we have lost 2…
    31 January 2015
  • Ken
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    @sammy - you could get in touch with the Kennel Club and see what they advise you to do regarding registering them.
    15 December 2014
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SaferPets website. Please read our Disclaimer.