Transporting Cats and Dogs To UK

Further to our recent post regarding an increase in DEFRA inspections in the UK, and with the recent increase in the number of new transport companies and new people looking to help re-home cats and dogs to the UK from Spain, it seemed a good idea to clarify the situation regards the transport of cats and dogs into the UK from Spain.

There are two distinct options available: for the transport of your pet necessitated because of a move (temporary or permanent) by the owner, and for the transport of a rescue animal where the transportation isn’t necessitated because of a move (temporary or permanent) by the owner or where there is an onward transfer of ownership as a result of the transport.

Transporting your Pet

Only pets being moved due to the pet owner phsyically moving from one country to another may enter the UK by use of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

This scheme allows for a pet to be taken into the UK so long as the following conditions have been satisfied:

  • be from a holding registered with the EU Member State of origin under Council Directive 92/65/EEC
  • be identified by a microchip prior to rabies vaccination
  • be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the recommendation on the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet
  • the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after a valid vaccination
  • before entering the UK all dogs must be treated for tapeworm, administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK
  • be accompanied by a passport containing a rabies vaccination record modelled on Annex 1 of Commission Decision 2003/803/EC.

In brief the transport of the pet should be as a result of a change of circumstance to the owner, not to the animal.

For example: an expat returning to live in the UK and wanting to take their pet with them, a person living in Spain that is going to the UK on a holiday, a person that owns properties in both the UK and Spain and is traveling between their homes.

There is no specific time limit related to this ‘condition’ so it is possible that you may be sending your pet ahead of your planned move, or indeed have already moved. The same applies for a planned, or taken holiday. You may be moving homes within a country, or to a third country, but need your pet to be transported to a family member, friend, or kennel in the meantime while you sort out your move.

Many expats living in Spain have rescued animals with no plans to return to the UK only to find that circumstances change and they need to sort out a pet passport, microchip, rabies vaccination for their pet which they have owned for years. As such it is not unusual for older animals to have new passports and to have only just been vaccinated etc.

Selling a property in order to move home, or indeed finding a pet friendly home in the UK can take time so it isn’t unusual for a pet to be transported months prior or post a move to the UK, often to a friend, family member, or kennel.

One trend we have noticed increasing is that younger family members are moving back to the UK for work, and they want their newly adopted pet to go with them, especially younger dogs which are too much for the parents to handle.

Transporting Your Rescue Animal

Dogs, cats and ferrets moving for sale, or re-homing (rescue animals) need to moved under Balai conditions (commercial rules).

This applies to a animals being transported to a rescue centre, foster home, or charity as there will be a onward transfer of ownership as a result of the transport AND to recently adopted animals whose owners already live in a different country as the requirement for the transport has not been necessitated by a move by the owner.

Rescue animals entering the UK must

  • be from a holding registered with the EU Member State of origin under Council Directive 92/65/EEC
  • be identified by a microchip prior to rabies vaccination
  • be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the recommendation on the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet
  • the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after a valid vaccination
  • before entering the UK all dogs must be treated for tapeworm, administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK
  • be accompanied by a passport containing a rabies vaccination record modelled on Annex 1 of Commission Decision 2003/803/EC.
  • be accompanied by a health certificate (as laid down in Part 1 of Annex E to Directive 92/65/EEC) that confirms 24 hours before dispatch a clinical examination was carried out by a vet authorised by the competent authority showing that the animal is fit and healthy to travel

Additionally:

  • the Member State of origin will notify the movement to the competent authorities of destination through the Community Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES)
  • the importer must notify the Regional AHVLA Office 24 hours prior to import, in writing
  • the dogs/cats must stay a further 48 hours at the place of destination on the health certificate
  • they will not be checked at the point of entry as they are not pets, but may be checked at the place of destination by the Regional AHVLA Office
  • the transporter of the dogs/cats must be authorised to transport animals commercially
  • the importer must keep the original health certificate for at least three years
  • there is no requirement to keep records of onward movements, but we recommend these are kept

What does this mean for ALStrays?

We are more than happy to transport your pet or rescue animal under the appropriate scheme. The paperwork for both is the responsibility of the owner/person organising the transport so it makes very little difference to us to be honest!

When you are using the booking form please make it very clear if you are requesting a place for your pet or a rescue animal.

You can download a copy of the Clinical Examination Form in English by by clicking on this link. This will need to be completed by an government approved vet (so probably not your local vet) and you will need to ensure we have all the paperwork in time for the transport. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any information you need to complete the form.

5 thoughts on “Transporting Cats and Dogs To UK

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  3. Donna webber

    Hello. I have rescued to stray puppies and need to get them back to the UK any port in the south west. They both have the appropriate paperwork. Can you please advise of the best way for them to get back.
    Many thanks
    Donna

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