You will be aware of the distressing situation that people fleeing from Ukraine currently face, and that the UK Government has been working at pace to support them. We have streamlined processes for securing licences and quarantine places for pets accompanying people fleeing Ukraine to avoid unnecessary delay at the border and are covering the costs of quarantine. We have also introduced temporary provisions to help relieve increased pressure on the rabies quarantine system in England, which is under considerable strain. Our priority is to support the large number of people fleeing Ukraine with their pets.
We are writing to set out the requirements for the scheme for people from Ukraine seeking refuge in the UK and who wish to bring their pet with them. If the owner is not able to prove that the pet meets the requirements of the rabies health preparation process (guidance on this webpage), the owner will need a licence to bring their pet to the UK. Licences will only be issued for pets travelling with their owners. Only pets travelling alongside their owners on the same journey may enter the UK from Ukraine, Belarus, Romania and Poland.
We will not issue a licence for owners to bring their pets to the UK using a third party or courier. You should ensure you do not accept bookings and that you cancel those in existence for any commercial movements of dogs, cats and ferrets originating from Ukraine, Belarus, Romania and Poland until after 14 May 2022. It is an offence to bring in animals from these countries.
Please advise any families planning to travel to the UK to contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at email@example.com or call +44 3000 200 301 option 2 as far ahead of their arrival as possible, so that APHA can issue them with a licence and make arrangements to move their pets into quarantine.
Any pets which are not fully compliant with our routine pet import conditions must enter quarantine facilities upon arrival here. Under no circumstances should any such pets be transported directly to the owner’s home. If you have taken any Ukrainian pets to people’s homes since the start of the conflict it is essential that you share the details of the owners and their addresses with APHA so that we can ensure the correct disease control measures are in place for these pets.
The full requirements of the scheme are set out here: Bringing your pet to the UK from Ukraine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The UK has long been rabies free and we need to continue this to protect both public and animal health. Rabies is endemic in terrestrial animals in Ukraine so it essential that we facilitate pet movements in a way that maintains our biosecurity.
Thank you for your help and support on this matter.