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Pets to Bring into United Kingdom


If you want to bring your pet with you from abroad, you need to be aware its import will be subject to Britain’s tough quarantine regulations. However, the recent innovation of passports for pets means that pet-lovers can avoid long periods of quarantine.

The UK has a Pet Passport Scheme, in which dogs, cats and ferrets from specific countries are allowed to enter without quarantine, provided they meet specified anti-rabies, blood sampling and anti-worm/anti-tick hygiene requirements. The pet must be micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. They can be brought into the UK only after six months have elapsed after a satisfactory blood test. Three airlines (British Midland, Finnair and Lufthansa) and a number of ferry lines, are currently authorised to bring non-quarantined animals into the UK.

Countries that have signed up to the Pet Travel Scheme include:

All EU countries (and associated territories), Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Grenadines, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Mayotte, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, St Helena, St Kitts & Nevis, St Pierre & Miquelon, St Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, USA (mainland), Vanuatu, Vatican, Wallis & Futuna.

Animals other than those identified will have to be quarantined for six months at approved premises. There are no exceptions and any illegally imported animal is liable to be destroyed. This regulation is also in effect for the Channel Islands.

Costs of quarantine are in the region of £300/month for dogs and £200/month for cats. Different animals have different regulations. For example, birds spend a shorter time in quarantine (until it is established there is no risk of them carrying psittacosis).

Although cold-blooded animals (fish, reptiles etc.) are not subjected to a quarantine period, you will still need to obtain an import license.

Work is continuing on an assessment of the risks if pets from other parts of the world are exempted from quarantine, and an announcement will be made once this work has been completed.

The DEFRA website ( provides details of countries covered by the Pet passport scheme, and the procedures for bringing a pet to the UK under this scheme.





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