There are certain vaccines and treatments that must be carried out within a specific timeframe or your animals may not be able to travel with you. Check with your vet well in advance to book in time-sensitive appointments and don't forget to have the microchip updated to your new contact details when you move back.
For more information go to www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat, dog or ferret if it:
- has been microchipped
- has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate
- has been vaccinated against rabies
- Dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment
Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months if you don’t follow these rules - or refused entry if you are travelling by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges. www.gov.uk/guidance/put-your-pet-in-rabies-quarantine
You can bring your dog, cat or ferret into the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
There is a passport system in place for horses similar to that of other pets. Your horse will need micro-chipping. www.gov.uk/horse-passport
Check if the company you’re travelling with:
- will accept your pet for travel - and how many they’ll accept if you have more than one
- needs any proof that your pet is fit and healthy to travel, for example a letter from a vet www.bva.co.uk/Workplace-guidance/Veterinary-certification/Cat-and-dog-export-certification/ or certain information in your pet passport www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/pet-passport.
- Your pet must arrive in the UK no more than five days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow different rules www.gov.uk/guidance/balai-directive-moving-live-animals-semen-and-embryos.
- You must use an approved transport company and routes unless you’re travelling between the UK and Ireland www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/approved-routes
- You need to fill in a declaration confirming that you aren’t going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-travel-declaration-for-the-non-commercial-movement-of-animals
- Your pet can travel with someone else if you’ve authorised it in writing.
- There are no restrictions on bringing pet rodents, rabbits, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to the UK from other EU countries.
There are rules you must follow when importing animals that aren’t native to the UK. This applies to any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish or invertebrate such as crustaceans, spiders or insects. While Defra has overall responsibility for many of these controls, some of the licensing responsibilities are delegated to other bodies, such as local authorities, Natural England, or the Welsh Assembly Government. Please note that controls may apply differently in Scotland.
For more information, visit:
- A maximum of five pets can be taken into the UK, if you have more than five pets please check the guidelines at www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
- You are not entitled to a publicly funded move of pets.