As I write this there are a number of unfortunate dogs kenneled in Calais having been refused entry into the UK on a recent transport by another transport company. I am not sure of all of the facts but as I understand it one had an issue with it’s worming treatment and two issues with their rabies vaccination date.
Why am I writing this? Primarily because my inbox is full this morning with people wanting to know what we would do in a similar situation, how to prevent it, and what do we see as our responsibility.
To be honest this is really easy and only requires me to point you in the direction of two pages on the site:
What it does highlight is an issue we face regularly: people don’t take the time to read the site and the information provided!
The DEFRA checklist is remarkably clear, although rarely a transport goes by without us having to resolve some issue or another. The pet requires:
a) to be microchipped and the chip number and date chip inserted to be filled in on the relevant part of the passport.
b) to be vaccinated against rabies.
c) the date of the rabia vaccination must be the SAME as or LATER than the date of the chip. This is because the chip is the legal identifier of the animal, and therefore MUST BE in the animal BEFORE the rabia vaccinations
d) the rabia vaccination date and expiry date MUST be completed on the relevant page of the passport and stamped by the vet
d) the rabia vaccination MUST be given at least TWENTY ONE days prior to the departure date into the UK e.g. TWENTY ONE days before the date and time of the booked ferry/shuttle into the UK.
e) In addition a dog MUST be wormed between ONE and FIVE days of the above departure date with the DATE and TIME entered by the vet along with their stamp.
A cat does not require worming treatment but a DOG DOES.
Mistakes do happen and vets do sometimes need to make genuine alterations, but if you need a vet to make a change please ensure they redo the vaccinations or worming entry and initial it, rather than just amend the incorrect one. Also ask your vet to issue a letter confirming the change and bring that along with the passport as amendments are the cause of most delays at pet passport control. These have resulted in having to get a faxed confirmation from the vet in Spain and then going to the vet in Calais to get the passport amended. Not easy at 7am on a Sunday morning, and expensive (60€).
Our position is very clear on this. It is 100% the responsibility of the person booking the transport to ensure that the passport is correct. We provide all the necessary information on the site, and on the password protected transport page for each transport (accessible only by those involved in that specific transport). We provide confirmation of the dates for rabies vaccination and worming based on our booked shuttle time. We even post reminder updates every day on Twitter and Facebook. If you are in ANY doubt CONTACT US prior to the transport and feel free to send through a scanned copy of the passport for us to see.
Before we load the animal onto the van we check the microchip and all the passport details. If the passport or animal fails this final check in any way, then we will not load the animal and you will still be charged for the transport. This may seem harsh but, you have had access to all the necessary information via the site, and you have taken up a space that another animal could have used, and in order to continue to run these transport at our prices we must run at capacity.
Once however, we load the animal onto the van then the responsibility becomes 100% ours, because we take full responsibility for the final passport check before loading. If the pet is refused access into the UK because of an issue with the passport (based on the DEFRA requirements listed above) then any kennel costs and return transport costs are our responsibility, and our responsibility will be to get your animal to its destination, OR to return it to you.
These are our terms and conditions, and they are clear via our homepage, and the link above.
In all cases where there are problems the welfare of the animal is our main concern. Mistakes happen and we will do everything that we can to help get a passport issue sorted. These situations are disturbing and upsetting for the individuals involved (rescue home, foster home, new owner, transport company) but it is most distressing for the animals involved. We would never leave an animal in limbo, and would always put its safety and health first.