Skip to main content

Sub navigation

Pet travel scheme requirements revised 2012


There were some important changes made in January 2012 regarding pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) travelling from abroad into the United Kingdom. The regulations are different depending on the country from which a pet travels so please ensure you check with DEFRA the latest rules.

A guide to the changes can be downloaded from DEFRA by clicking here

Rabies Vaccination and Blood Test Changes

The old regulations required that, all pets had a blood test after a rabies vaccination to ensure adequate protection was achieved. There was also a 6 month wait from the blood sample date before animals can enter the UK.

As of January 1st 2012, pets coming from the EU and certain non-EU countries “listed” in the EU Regulation (e.g. USA, Australia and Japan) will no longer require a post-vaccination blood test and the pre-entry waiting period will be reduced from six months to 21 days.

Pets coming from other non-EU countries which are not “listed” in the Regulation (e.g. China and South Africa) will be entitled to enter the UK for the first time from 1 January 2012 without having to undergo six months compulsory quarantine provided they meet specific entry criteria.


Under the new rules, pets entering or re-entering the UK will continue to be checked in order to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Scheme. If a pet fails to meet the entry requirements there are three options: the pet can be placed in quarantine, re-exported, or destroyed. It is anticipated that the majority of owners will opt for quarantine.

Voluntary quarantine will also continue as an option for those not able to meet the entry requirements, for example, pet owners who need to travel with their pets at short notice. This will enable pet owners to voluntarily place their animals into quarantine (where they will be treated in order to comply with the entry requirements) and apply for an import licence beforehand as they do at present.

Tick Treatment

At present, pets must be treated by a veterinary surgeon 24-48 hours before entering the UK with an approved tick treatment.

As of January 1st 2012, tick treatments will no longer be required under the Scheme. However, We strongly advise that prophylactic tick treatment is continued to protect pets from illnesses that are currently not found or are widely present in the UK.

Tapeworm Treatment

At present, pets must be treated by a veterinary surgeon for the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis before entering the UK.

This tapeworm is not currently found in the UK and a final decision has not yet been made at the European level as to whether the UK can still insist on this treatment to protect the UK from this parasite that can affect human health.

The European Commission has indicated that its proposals (expected shortly) would allow the UK to retain tapeworm controls with a requirement that animals be treated between one and five days before entry or re-entry into the UK

Back Forward Home Print Close

Please wait... loading