Taking your pet abroad
Taking your pet abroad can be very exciting and it is easier now than ever before to take your beloved companion abroad with you. A recent change to the PETS passport legislation means that a blood sample to test for rabies is no longer required (implementation date: 1st of January 2012). However a vaccination for rabies is still required and a passport can be issued 21 days after this vaccination. Once you have a passport then you and your pet can come and go freely as long as your rabies vaccination is still valid and that a tapeworm treatment has been administered by a vet 24 – 120 hours before its scheduled arrival time back to the UK (dogs only). For more information, please go to the Department of Environment Food and Royal Affairs (DEFRA) website at www.defra.gov.uk. It is however important to remember that rabies is not the only dangerous or unpleasant disease that your pet may come in contact with whilst abroad. We therefore strongly recommend that you discuss your particular travel requirements with one of our vets before travelling as some of those diseases can be easily prevented.
For many non-EU countries (e.g. South Africa, Australia, New-Zealand et c.) you cannot use a PETS passport and an Export Health certificate (EHC) is instead required. It is recommended that you contact DEFRA for the full details of your requirements. The Import and Export Centre is available on 0118 959 6695. For some destinations additional blood and faecal tests may be required. Your travel company may also want a fitness to travel certificate for your pet. These are normally completed 1-3 days before the journey. Sometimes using a pet travel agency can make the process easier.
Margit and Ash are government registered OV practitioner and so can issue passports and travel documents. They are also most happy to discuss your travel arrangements with you.
Do remember to give sufficient time to make sure that everything is organised in time and please also be aware that the responsibility for ensuring that the correct travel requirements have been met lies with the animal owner.