They are now checking the microchip in the pets passport against a database to ensure that the name in the pet passport is the same as the one the chip is registered too. A while ago they also started checking that the Declaration to Transport form that we as a transporter need the pets owner to complete if we are transporting on their behalf was signed by the owner (this now make sense!!).
They are still checking the microchip date, rabies date, worming date and time, and that the passport is completed 100% correctly, but the new database check (which is long overdue) is intended to catch out those still intent on abusing the PETS Scheme for re-homed cats and dogs.
Basically if it it is not your name on the microchip database, in the pet passport and on the signed Declaration Form the animal can’t travel on the PETS Scheme, and one assumes you will now be caught and turned away.
It has always been a little random as to how an individual pet passport officer checked the TRACES Certificate but now it is simple, and standard: they check the TRACES Certificate number on the database to ensure that it is a genuine and accurate certificate.
No more submitting of false forms as there was no way of checking them.
Also reinforces that the Certificates must be 100% accurate so if you put multiple animals on one form but one or more can’t travel, you should get a new certificate done, or at the very least give your transporter a letter from the same government vet that completed the certificate explaining why the animal(s) isn’t traveling.