When the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was rolled out in 2001, the pet passport emerged. Thanks to PETS, pet owners can freely travel with their furry friends in and out of EU member countries. The UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US are also within the scope of PETS.
Freely travelling with your pet dog or cat means skipping the quarantine requirement. This special exception applies provided you follow the regulations. However, as PETS is still not completely standardised, you need to check the guidelines specific to your chosen travel route.
Pet Passport Fast Facts
Looking very similar to the standard passport, the DEFRA pet passport lists all the information related to your pet. This official document includes the details of the registered owner and pet vaccinations and treatments.
You can acquire a cat or dog passport from approved veterinarians in any of the approved EU countries. You cannot get one in the US, Australia, or Canada.
How long does a pet passport last? The pet passport is valid for life as long as vaccinations are up-to-date. When the pages are used up, you will need to get a new passport. You should continue to carry the original passport especially if the vaccinations and treatments are not yet expired.
How much does a pet passport cost? The rate may vary depending on the veterinarian you got it from. For cats, the cost may range from £25-£50. For dogs, the rate can be anywhere between £150 and £250.
How long does it take to get a pet passport? It only takes 24 hours (Monday to Friday). If your pet has not had his rabies inoculation prior to the receipt of the booklet, you cannot travel right away. You will need to wait for 3 weeks (21 days) before doing so.
Pet Passport Requirements
Various countries have different requirements. The following are the general ones shared by many:
- Microchipping This should be done before the rabies inoculation. Microchip implanting is required by UK laws, particularly among dogs.
- Rabies vaccination This should be done 21 days before travel. Do note that the first day of the inoculation is counted as 0 day. Day 1 is the next day after the shots were administered to your pet. It is important to keep your pet’s rabies vaccination updated (annual boosters, etc.).
- Pet is no less than 12 weeks old Three months is the earliest period that your pet can be given rabies vaccination. You should bring proof that your pet is 12 weeks old when getting rabies shot.
Before Travelling: What to Check in the Pet Passport
Only approved veterinarians can fill out the pet passport, not the owners. What you can do, though, is check whether the following sections have been completed:
- Description of your cat or dog
- Ownership information (you must affix your signature in section I)
- Identifying marks of your pet
- Rabies vaccination
- Rabies blood test (if required)
- Tapeworm treatment (for dogs, if required)
- Information of the veterinarian providing the passport
EU, Listed, and Unlisted Countries
According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the following are the countries and territories within the European Union:
- (1) Pets going back to the UK from Cyprus may not be required to take a blood test. But animals travelling from north Cyprus need to be blood sampled about 30 days after getting rabies shots. They also need to wait for 3 months before returning to the UK.
(2) Also covers St Barthelemy and St Martin.
The following are the non-EU or “listed” countries:
- (1) Felines coming from Australia cannot enter the UK without a certification from the Australian Veterinary Authorities. The certificate should attest that the cat has not been to a place where Hendra virus contamination is confirmed.
(2) Jamaica may be a qualified country under the EU Regulations, but its law keeps it from being covered by the PETS. As such, pets may not go to Jamaica.
(3) Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are not part of the Russian Federation.
(4) Cats and dogs from the Malaysian Peninsula are prohibited from entering the UK unless a health certificate is provided. The certificate must be issued by Malaysian veterinary officials. It should confirm that the pets have not been in contact with pigs 60 days prior and not exposed to Nipah disease-contaminated areas. The pets must also test negative for Nipah disease viruses through an IgC capture ELISA test done in an approved laboratory.
(5) The UAE includes Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Al Fujairah.
(6) The BES Islands include Bonair, Saba, and Saint Eustatius.
(7) The USA coverage includes American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.
The unlisted countries are all other nations not included in the EU and non-EU list of countries.
If you are returning to the UK from a non-EU or unlisted country, you should get a “third country” veterinary certificate in the said nation.
Returning to the UK with Your Pet
If you are travelling to and from an EU or non-EU country, you may return to the UK without having your pet quarantined. Provided, of course, that you followed the regulations specific to the said country.
If you are travelling with a dog, your pooch may be required to receive tapeworm treatment before returning to the UK. It should be done by a vet no less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before arrival in the UK.
If you are coming back to the UK from an unlisted country, your pet needs to go through a blood test. The blood sample must be extracted no less than 30 days after vaccination. Your animal friend also needs to wait for 3 calendar months from the blood extraction date before entering the UK.
However, this is not the case if your pet was already blood tested and inoculated in the EU. Plus, if your pet has an EU-issued pet passport before travelling to the unlisted country, the waiting period will be waived.
Additionally, your furry friend will need to have a third country veterinary certificate and tapeworm treatment (only for dogs). Your pet should arrive in an EU territory within 10 days of the vet certificate’s issuance. This certification is valid for 4 months.
Did this article answer all your pet passport questions? Let us know if there’s anything you need to know further!