Changes to the UK Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

The Pet Travel Scheme is the system that allows:

  • Pet dogs, cats and ferrets to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
  • People in the UK to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries and territories, and return with them to the UK without the need for quarantine.
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The rules are to keep the UK free from rabies and certain other exotic diseases. The UK has been free from rabies for many years, but because of the existence of the disease in other countries there is a continued need for an effective system to be in place to manage the risk of rabies being introduced by imported animals.

The following changes to the Pet Travel Scheme were introduced 1 January 2012 .

Since 1 January 2012, tapeworm controls apply to all pet dogs entering the UK. Under these rules, not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK, all dogs must be treated against tapeworm and the treatment recorded in the EU pet passport or the third country official veterinary certificate.

Cats and ferrets no longer require this treatment. There is also no mandatory tick treatment before any pet enters the UK.

For further advice on these new rules, please visit Gov.uk's tapeworm information web page.

In the past checks have not been required on pets arriving in the UK from the Republic of Ireland although checks are carried out on pets coming from the rest of the EU and other countries and territories.

Under the EU pet movement system, all pet dogs, cats and ferrets moving between EU Member States must meet the same animal health rules. Therefore from 1 January 2012 the requirement is that all pets travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK should be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and accompanied by a pet passport.

However as both the Republic of Ireland and the UK have had no indigenous rabies for many decades, compliance checks on pets travelling between the two countries will not be applied. Those travelling with pet animals should therefore not experience any change on the ground from 1 January.

For pet travel requirements from the UK to the Republic of Ireland please visit the Republic’s Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine website.

Full details about the Pet Travel Scheme can be found on Gov.UK's Pet Travel information web page.