ALStrays Transport Newsletter: February 2013

2013 has certainly started with a bang as far as the transport of cats and dogs from Spain to the UK, the transport of cats and dogs from Spain to Europe, and the transport of cats and dogs from the UK to Spain for ALStrays.

In January alone we transported 120 cats and dogs. We transported 36 dogs within Spain, took 23 dogs to the UK from Spain, 7 dogs from Spain to France, 16 dogs to Germany from Spain, and 3 dogs from the UK to Spain. We transported 33 cats from Spain to Germany and 2 cats within Spain.

Without doubt our busiest month ever.


We have two transports scheduled for February. On the 9th we have the last of our combined Germany and UK transports. This is full with 11 dogs and 3 cats to the UK, 19 dogs to Germany and 3 dogs to France. In addition we have 30 cats going to Germany.

On the 23rd February we have a transport to the UK. We already have 9 dogs and 1 cat booked to the UK and 3 dogs coming back from the UK.


The transport on 9th March to Germany currently has 24 dogs booked on and 20 cats already. We will be going to Nuremberg, Bruchsal, Wallau, Duseldorf, Holland and Luxembourg on this transport.

The transport on 23rd March to the UK already has 9 dogs booked.


Once again we had problems with people not bothering to read the site and understand the DEFRA requirements regarding passports for cats and dogs traveling into the UK. The guidelines are here so please ensure you are aware of the requirements. On the last trip we have SEVEN passports that needed to be completed or adjusted by a emergency hours vet before the dogs were able to travel to the UK. This delayed us by three hours, resulted in a lot of worried new owners unsure if we would be able to transport their pets, and cost us in terms of missed Shuttle time and communication costs. I doubt very much that any other transport company would have take then the time to resolve this.

Continue to be frustrated by peoples inability to read the site before asking questions! The costs, schedules, process, booking forms etc are all on the site so please take the time to read them before you get in touch. You will save us both time as we will only respond my telling you to the read site. We are not being rude but as we spend 12 days on the road each month and can process as many as 100 requests each month we simp,y do not have the time to repeatedly answer the same questions when the details are on the site.

Heard about a couple of transporters that were stopped by Customs and will no longer be transporting cats or dogs to the UK. Both were one man operators who combined pet transport with taking back furniture etc and weren’t DEFRA approved (or equivalent). As a company that has invested over 45.000€ in our vans, got both DEFRA certified and licensed and operate through our UK based VAT partnership we have zero time for these people, and strongly urge people wanting their pets transported to the UK to use one of the many all proved transporters that exist.

The Bosnia project is coming along slowly. The basics of the operation are in place and we have Peter Egan and Jon Gaunt involved to help with the awareness and promotion of the campaign and the fund raising. The plan is to re-home 26 dogs that are currently in shelters in Bosnia having been rescued off the streets. We will go too Bosnia and collect all 26, but as we can only take 15 into the UK at one time the plan is to find foster homes for 9 of them in Germany so they can be dropped off their and taken over to new homes in the UK at a a later date. As soon as we have sorted out the Press Release etc we will provide more news and list ways in which you can help.

We are currently in the process of acquiring another vehicle in the UK to help with the delivery of cats and dogs within the UK. We are also talking to a number of people about an idea that we have to be able to take more cats and dogs to the UK each month.

Next Transport Availability

9th February (Germany & UK) – FULL

23rd February (Europe) – 5 Spaces Available

9th March (Europe) – 7 Spaces Available

More Information

Transport Details
Transport Schedule
Transport Costs

16 thoughts on “ALStrays Transport Newsletter: February 2013

  1. Becky Smith

    Hello Chris,

    apperently you know the rules from DEFRA very well. So why do you put more than 60 animals on your transporter? 1 to 5 rule… just one example…

  2. Becky Smith

    Exactly, you are right. At least in this point we agree. Your ‘non-commercial’ is the Pet Travel Scheme and its pet passport system…” for dogs, cats and ferrets,” which you like to talk about the whole time. Fact is: five animals is the maximum per one person.

    And I have noticed when you enter the UK you make sure not to break this rule.

    Just to clear it up: ‘Commercial licensed organisations’ are farms, and research centres the people that send animals. In other words not you because you do just the transport business.

    So, nothing to do with transport businesses – and the movement is sent on the European TRACES computer by the government vet that makes the 24 hour inspection to the other country.
    Yet you also say this is not what you use.

    So could you please tell which system do you use to be legal? Can you explain? Commercial or non commercial?
    By the way the link you provided belongs just to a lobby group that has nothing to do with the existing EU law.

  3. Chris

    You are correct that we are moving the cats and dogs on a non-commercial basis as we confirmed with DEFRA as we are not making any money out of the actual animals.

    On that link you provided there is a section called What you need to do if you are travelling with more than five pets.

    It says:

    The number of pets that can be moved between EU Member States – including into and out of the UK – is limited to five per person. If there are more than 5 pets moving with an accompanying person , the following rules apply:

    The movement of the pets must be non commercial and as a consequence of them travelling with the owner – there should be no transfer of ownership involved.

    There is also a section called What you need to do if you are not accompanying your pet during its journey.

    It says:

    If a pet owner or responsible person is not travelling on the journey as their pet then under EU rules as long as the movement of the pet is for non commercial reasons and there is no sale or transfer of ownership as a result of the move, then the pet is considered to be accompanied even if the owner or responsible person is not in direct proximity to the pet.

    In the case of moves between EU Member States (including the UK) where the pet is not in proximity to the owner or responsible person, the transport company will be able to treat the move as an accompanied pet and not a commercial move, if the owner or responsible person has signed a declaration which accompanies the pet passport.

    With our transports the cats and dogs are all being transported to their owner, having already been adopted, or already owned, so there is no transfer or ownership or sale as a result of the move. We are moving them solely because their owners have requested that we do so, and we get a letter of confirmation from the current owner to confirm.

  4. Becky Smith

    Of course, I know what it all says. Remember, I sent this link to you. But you have not read it all.

    OK, so now we know you are ‘non commercial.’ And earlier on you said: ‘Commercial licensed organisations can transport more,’ as to say why you may take more than 5.

    Yet you say against yourself again: “1 to 5 relates to private transportation of pets, called non commercial movement of pets.” This is your words.

    So all is ‘non commercial’ maybe I accept.
    But now you miss the part in my link to DEFRA for more than 5 animals:
    “Each pet animal will require a health certificate.
    ” Is it that all 60 animals each have a Health Certificate…..yes or no?

    Who is the vet who can make so much work? He is a wonderman!
    Or does this law not apply to you either?

    And also you ignore my question. Why do you and your men only are permitted to take 15 animals to the UK? Like you say in your project from Bosnia? Why is UK different? Is UK not a part of Europe and EU Reg 1/2005 ?

    Or is it that you know in the UK you keep your checks on the border at Dover?

    And yet you know we all Europeans have a open border, and you can transport from Spain and no person can know? Do you answer this?

    I am very interested to hear.

  5. Chris

    I have explained why we are able to transport as we do. We discussed and confirmed with DEFRA. End of conversation.

  6. Becky Smith

    You explain nothing…..that is the problem.

    You only talk yourself in circles and you open more questions.

    First you say you are ‘commercial’, then you say ‘non commercial.’ Then you say you can transport more than 5 and two times you ignore why only 15 to UK with three men, but 60 animals in only 8 cages to my country is OK? And you ignore Health Certificates., it is clear.

    I will discuss with DEFRA and I will discuss this also with the German DEFRA.
    Sorry to say Chris but conversations only end when there are answers.

  7. Chris

    Feel free, but maybe get your facts straight first? We have 10 Extra Large cages in the van not 8. All the cats travel in their own boxes so we are not putting 60 animals in 8 cages.

    As we explain on the site as a transporter we are commercial, we have to make money out of this, but as we also say and as you confirmed we are non-commercial in terms of the actual animals as we are making no gain from them. I accept and apologise if I was inaccurate before in my statement but it is very clear on the site and I have no argument with you that we are non-commercial with respect to the transport of animals.

    The DEFRA guidelines are very clear. A health certificate issued by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency is required for moves from the UK to another EU member state, or from another EU member state to the UK. As it isn’t practical to sort these certificates out in time when we go to the UK we restrict ourselves to 15 with three drivers.

    Furthermore as the animals that we transport have already been adopted there is no transfer of ownership as a result of the transport, they are being taken to their current owner to live with that person as their pet, and are being transported at the request of the owner to the owner.

    We explained all of this to the authorities in Nuremburg when they inspected us recently, and I have just explained it to the Dusseldorf authorities.

    Maybe you could answer a question or two, although I should note that you have yet to reply to my email. You seem to have a problem. All we are trying to do is to help people that have given a rescue cat or dog a new home to get their new pet. We have excellent DEFRA certified vans, and a Type 2 Transporter License. We take great care of the animals on route, and never pack them in as you seem to believe by your ill informed 60 in 8 cages comment. We have built up an excellent reputation, are fully supportive of all other transporters offering similar services, and share your concerns (I assume) with people that are not DEFRA certified and don’t have a license.

  8. Becky Smith

    Proof you do not say the truth… Here are you words from your website:
    “Note the number of dogs to Germany depends on the size of the dogs. The number of cats/dogs to UK is fixed by DEFRA at 5 per person…”
    And here are DEFRA’s words from their website:
    “The number of pets that can be moved between EU Member States – including into and out of the UK – is limited to five per person.” And the German authorities say the same.
    It is European law…nothing to do with only the UK!

    And you say on your website you take many cats to charities like Katzenherzen so they can be found home. That is not taking them, as you now say: “they are being taken to their current owner to live with that person as their pet, and are being transported at the request of the owner to the owner.”

  9. Chris

    I have no idea what you are trying to achieve.

    The DEFRA site clearly explains the circumstances when it is possible to transport more than 5 dogs per person.

    The cats we take to charities have all been found new homes already. We are taking pets that have been adopted already to their new owners.

    We have been open and transparent as you can see, and continue to work with all of the relevant authorities. We are part way through getting registered for TRACES as all we want to do is to help as many dogs and cats get to new homes as possible rather than be PTS because of the barbaric nature of Spain and the attitude of many pet owners (which includes the Expats).

    If I have offended you because of some of the statements on the site I am sorry. I think you are wrong regards the 1 to 5 as the DEFRA site clearly explains how you can transport more than 5 per person, and I have explained why this isn’t an option for us going into the UK as we don’t have the 10 days notice for all the dogs traveling that they require for application forms.

    You clearly have a problem with us and for that I am sorry. I am more than aware that a number of people have been trying to discredit us which is a shame as the only ones to suffer will be the cats and dogs that can’t be transported.

    You have raised some good points and we will ensure that the site has more clarity as well.

    I really don’t see what else there is to be said between us though.

    I have no idea who you are or what your involvement is with Animal Rescue. I wish you all the best though and hope that whatever you are involved in is successful.

  10. Becky Smith

    And YOU even included the DEFRA information above, in your earlier post. The one starting with the words: “You are correct that we are moving the cats and dogs on a non-commercial basis” It is European law, not only UK law, and you know this. But you go with as many pets as possible because the border is open.

    You even are not sure for yourselfe either you are commercial or not. By your last comment it is very clear that you have no idea about TRACES because transport companies do not register for TRACES, the charities do!

  11. Chris

    I am total clear on whether we are commercial or not!

    ALStrays Transport is a commercial operation run through our UK registered business M2Associates. We are involved in a number of projects helping to transport cats and dogs. Some involve re-homed rescue cats that are going to their new owners, others include pets that need to move as a result of their owners having moved. I am sure that you are aware but if a move of a pet is necessitated because the owner has moved then we can transport the pet under the conditions laid down by the EU for the transportation of more than 5 pets per person.

    So if we were taking 15 pets to the UK for people that had already moved back to the UK they wouldn’t count towards the 5 per person personal quota, meaning that we could take another 15 pets to elsewhere in Europe under the 1-5 rule.

    We had this confirmed by a number of vet authorities in Germany and elsewhere.

    As regards TRACES one of the other things we do is work for a local Protectora so we will be doing their transports for then under TRACES. As we work for them I don’t see how you can have a problem with this although I suspect you have a problem with the mere fact that I am breathing.

    Again, you have a huge problem with me that is apparent and I am sorry that you feel that way. As you will hopefully appreciate at least I am very open to explaining ourselves and we are not trying to do anything underhand. We have struggled to get a consistent interpretation regards the EU directive, some say that we are correct, others are unsure, others like yourselves are adamant that we are wrong.

    As you read the site you will no doubt have read that we were recently inspected in Nuremberg bu the Vet for Nuremberg who was happy with the number of cats and dogs we had on board, the Type 2 License, the passports and the letters of authorisation from the pets owners.

  12. Becky Smith

    So Chris,

    I have asked questions to your DEFRA and to the German Authority here also. They take time to answer, but in the time before maybe we can go ahead our conversation…the one you said was: “End of conversation.”

    I see many people now read this Newsletter, which is good. Nearly 200 now. Many more than last time. Maybe this means we have a conversation that is good for many.

    You go only with Pet Passport as of the Pet Travel Scheme. And according to your paste of my link from DEFRA we know “between EU Member States is 5.” And we know you do not use Health Certificates, as also described in the link I provided to you, but you forgot to include…. Never mind, I remind you.

    Also, you say: “We have struggled to get a consistent interpretation regards the EU directive, some say that we are correct, others are unsure, others like yourselves are adamant that we are wrong.” Why do you need a consistent interpretation? There is only one authority for you…DEFRA. Only in your invention does this confusion exist. Why?…because you like to pretend there is confusion because this makes the reason for you to do what you want to do? This is my claim to you.

    I do not answer your private email because this is a conversation that should be all open and to all public persons available. No words behind.

    You ask who I am. I am retired in this time. I am a person of animal welfare of Frankfurt area in past years. I know EC Reg 1/2005 very well and I know of no confusion in the law, as you claim. Each EU nation has one Authority, and they all speak to each other to make the law one for Europe all. I must say you are the only person without your “consistent interpretation.” These laws are for many years good working.

    These days I have more hours available to read all the words on website like yours, and I say your words are not clear at all. I wonder who may understand you! You only claim in circles! not clear words. Even us Germans with our English can see this.

    You may wish to ask your DEFRA, as I have, what it means for a “re-homed” animal to be Changed of Ownership. They say all “re-homed” animals, like from charities are “Changed.” This is also on their website. You can be clever with your words, but we all know there is a `‘changed“’ because this is the reason for the transport.

    Do not take my answer for this. Call to DEFRA, as I do. Do you need the telephone number and a name of the person? I can provide.

    I can accept you breath. I can not accept persons who ignore animal welfare rules, because I know what can be the end of this. Do you know the persons Pet Taxi? ? ?

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