The rules for travelling with your pet change from 1st January 2012 so that all pet dogs, cats and ferrets can enter or re-enter the United Kingdom from any country in the world provided they meet the rules of the scheme. The rules are different depending upon the country from which the pet is entering the UK.
If you are bringing a pet from countries within the European Community (EU) and certain listed non-EU countries then the steps to take are given below.
1) Microchipping: Before any other procedures for travelling with your pet can take place, the animal must already have or be fitted with a microchip to give a unique and tamperproof identity.
2) Vaccination: Once microchipped, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies by a Veterinary Surgeon and then you must wait for 21 days after the approved vaccination date before travelling.
3) Documentation: You should obtain an EU Pet Passport from your Veterinary Surgeon once the vaccination is given, before you can travel.
4) Tapeworm treatment: FOR DOGS ONLY. Before entering or re-entering the UK, all dogs must be treated against a particular tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis). The treatment must be an EU approved veterinary medicine for the purpose, be administered by a Veterinary Surgeon and then certified within the passport by this Vet. The treatment must be given not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before the time of arrival in the UK.
5) The route: Your pet must enter the UK via an approved transport company and on an authorized route. The pet can be within your vehicle provided your vehicle is travelling via an approved company and route.
Pets travelling to and from the Republic of Ireland must be microchipped and have a passport, but will not need a rabies vaccination or treatment for tapeworm to travel and return.
If you intend entering the UK from non listed, non-EU countries then it is best to check the DEFRA website and probably telephone the DEFRA office to be sure of the requirements.
EU and listed non EU countries
Useful addresses and telephone numbers.
DEFRA: www.defra.gov.uk or +44 (0)870 241 1710
Government Specialist Cat and Dog Team
Tel: 01228 403600 (Option 2)
For Jersey visit the States of Jersey website , www.gov.je/TRAVEL/TRAVELLINGPETS or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Republic of Ireland visit www.agriculture.gov.ie or e-mail email@example.com, or ring the Helpline on +353 1 6072827