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On 22 December 1999, the Government announced further details about the PETS scheme, including the date the scheme starts, details of the certificates that dog owners will need for their pet to enter the UK under the scheme and the treatment that pets will need against certain parasites. The first dogs came across the Channel to a flurry of media attention. Are you ready for the trip? This information from DEFRA describes the PETS pilot scheme in detail including any changes and explains what steps you can take for your dog to qualify.
The Government Does U-Turn
Implementation date of the EU Regulation on the movement of pet animals The European Commission have now confirmed that the implementation date for this Regulation will be 3 July 2004. You can still use your PETS certificate to enter or re-enter the UK until it expires. Vets can also issue PETS certificates until 30 September 2004 which can be used until they expire. Passports are expected to be available to pet owners from late June. Check with your surgery when they will start issuing passports.
You are strongly advised to get a passport but if you have to travel before they are available you can still get and use a PETS certificate. If your pet is travelling abroad with a PETS certificate before 3 July 2004, you will also need to get an Export Health Certificate (or a PETS 5 for France). If you are using a PETS certificate to enter another EU country between 3 July and 30 September 2004 you are advised for additional reassurance to also get an Export Health Certificate (or a PETS 5 for France). For more advice on how to get one, contact your local Animal Health Divisional Office.
You will still need to have your pet treated against ticks and tapeworms before it is allowed to enter the UK. For pets with passports the treatment will be recorded in that document. For dogs and cats with PETS certificates, you will need to get an official tick and tapeworm certificate from a vet in the country in which your pet is treated. This certificate will only be available in certain countries. More information is given below in the section on transitional arrangements. Ferrets, and domestic rabbits and rodents entering the UK before 3 July must enter quarantine. (02/07/04)
From Peter van Dongen...
PETS 2004 - The Changes
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) has been going for some years now. This has made it possible for you to travel with your dog to and from certain countries, and return to the UK, without having to put your dog into quarantine. There were certain strict conditions and this has not really changed. However, from 3 July 2004 some of the necessary paperwork is going to be changed. This has been introduced to make it easier to travel between various European countries without the need for many different pieces of paperwork, but it will mean that some of the old paperwork will be obsolete.
The major changes are as follows:-
What stays the same?
What is difficult?
Further information: DEFRA online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm or PETS Helpline: 0870 241 1710 (Mon-Fri 8.30-17.00). Email: email@example.com
PETS - The Pilot Scheme
On 22 December 1999, the Government announced further details about the PETS pilot scheme, including the date the scheme starts, details of the certificates that dog owners will need for their pet to enter the UK under the scheme and the treatment that pets will need against certain parasites. The first dogs have now come across the Channel to a flurry of media attention. Are you ready for the trip? This fact sheet from MAFF describes the PETS pilot scheme in detail, explaining what steps you can take for your dog to qualify.
Sections 1-5 tell you about the rules of the pilot scheme. Sections 6-10 tell you what to you need to do to bring your pet into the UK under the pilot scheme. Sections 11-13 and the annexes give general advice about the scheme.
Which animals can take part in the pilot scheme?
Pet cats and dogs (referred to as pets in this fact
What do I need to do to get my pet to qualify?
To qualify for the scheme, your pet must:-
It is essential that steps 1-5 are carried out in the order shown.
When you bring your pet in, you will need three pieces of paper: an official PETS certificate showing that it has been vaccinated and blood tested a veterinary certificate showing that has been treated against the tapeworm and ticks a declaration that is has not been outside the PETS countries (Section 5)
When will the pilot scheme
Please remember that even if your pet meets all the conditions of the scheme and leaves the UK before 28 February 2000, it will only be allowed to re-enter the UK without quarantine from 28 February 2000.
Pets brought into the UK before 28 February 2000 will still have to go into quarantine. Once the pilot scheme starts, it may be possible to release them after less than 6 months quarantine if they meet all the conditions of the Scheme.
Will I able to enter the UK with my pet as soon as the scheme starts?
Your pet cannot enter the UK until six months after the date your vet took a blood sample that yielded a successful test result (see section 8). This is because an animal that is infected before being vaccinated would not be protected against rabies but its blood test might give the same result as one for an uninfected animal that had been vaccinated. Six months (equivalent to the length of quarantine) is the time needed for an infected animal to display any clinical signs of rabies which would prevent it being brought into the UK.
Does this rule apply to UK pets?
This rule does not apply to microchipped and vaccinated pets in the UK that had a blood sample (leading to a successful test result) taken before 28 February 2000.
If the blood test sample is taken on or after 28 February 2000, your pet will not be able to re-enter the UK under the scheme until at least six months after the date of sampling.
If you wish to travel with your pet to a qualifying country during the summer of 2000, you should have your pet microchipped, vaccinated and blood tested as soon as possible.
Which routes can I use to bring my pet into the UK?
You can use any of the following routes to bring your pet into the UK when the pilot scheme starts.
*For guide dogs and hearing dogs, air routes from Australia and New Zealand direct to London Heathrow as well
We will announce the air routes and the names of the transport companies that will be able to carry your pet as they are approved, after which you may be able to book a ticket to travel with your pet.
Which travel companies can I use
The following companies will be taking bookings for pets to travel to th eUK from 28 February on the routes listed above: Britanny Ferries, Eurotunnel Shuttle Service, Hoverspeed, P & O European, P & O Stena, SeaFrance.
MAFF has approved the operating plans of all these companies, subject to a scrutiny of the arrangements that they have put into place.
Where can pets come from?
Pets resident in the UK may go to one or more of the countries below and return to the UK under the pilot scheme. Pets that come from one of these countries and have been resident in any of them for six months may also enter the UK under the pilot scheme if accompanied by the appropriate official certification.
France excludes the French Overseas Departments and Territories, Norway excludes Svalbard, Portugal includes the Azores and Madeira and Spain includes the Canary Islands, but excludes Ceuta and Melilla.
Pets resident in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland may also enter the UK under the pilot scheme from these countries, when accompanied by the appropriate official certification.
What about pets travelling within the British Isles?
Pets resident anywhere in the British Isles will continue to be able to travel freely within the British Isles, and will not be subject to quarantine or to the Pet Travel Scheme rules unless they are entering the UK from outside the British Isles.
What about pets entering the Republic of Ireland?
The PETS pilot scheme relates to the UK only. The Republic of Ireland does not intend to have a PETS pilot scheme. Therefore, pets entering the Republic of Ireland directly from all countries other than the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will still have to go into quarantine. An announcement by the Irish authorities about the precise arrangements to facilitate pets entering the Republic which have first entered the UK under the conditions of the pilot scheme, will be made in due course.
Will guide dogs and hearing dogs qualify for the scheme?
Guide dogs and hearing dogs will be eligible for the pilot scheme like any other dogs. In addition, these dogs will be allowed to enter the UK from Australia and New Zealand under the pilot scheme. This will depend however on discussions with the Australia and New Zealand authorities and whether any airline is prepared to carry such dogs during the pilot scheme.
What can I do now to get ready for the scheme?
You can ask your vet to:-
Vets will charge you for carrying out this work. Any vet can microchip and vaccinate your pet and arrange for it to be blood tested.
A microchip is a tiny electronic device injected into your pet that acts as a permanent record of identity. For your pet to qualify for the PETS pilot scheme, it must be fitted with a microchip. We strongly recommend that the microchip meets ISO (International Standards Organisation) Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO Standard 11785. Ask your vet to make sure that the microchip meets one of these specifications.
If the microchip does not meet either of these standards, anyone who needs to read it may not be able to do so. In that case, you would have to provide your own microchip reader (at your expense) to enable the microchip number to be read successfully.
When should it be fitted?
Your pet can be fitted with a microchip at any time but it must be done before it is vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. Ask your vet to test that the microchip works by checking its number once it has been fitted.
What sort of rabies vaccine is used?
The vaccine must be an inactivated rabies vaccine authorised for use in the UK, or by the government of the qualifying country in which you are resident. If in doubt, consult your vet.
When should I vaccinate my pet?
Your pet must be at least three months old before it is vaccinated. Vaccination can be done any time after your pet has been fitted with a microchip. Before vaccinating your pet, the vet will check its microchip number and enter it on your petís vaccination record when it is vaccinated.
If your pet has been vaccinated against rabies before it was identified by a microchip, it will have to be fitted with a microchip and vaccinated again. This is to make sure that your pet is correctly identified when it is vaccinated.
What information goes on my petís vaccination record?
When your pet is vaccinated, you should make sure that your vet has recorded the following details on a vaccination record:-
When is my pet given its booster?
After your pet has been vaccinated and blood tested, it will need regular booster vaccinations at intervals specified by the vaccine manufacturer. Your vet will advise you further. You must make sure that your pet is given its booster on time, otherwise it will not meet the conditions of the scheme and would have to be vaccinated and blood tested again and the residency requirement would have to be met (see section 3). If your pet has its booster on time, it will not need another blood test.
How do I arrange a blood test for my pet?
After your pet has been vaccinated, it will need a blood test to make sure that the vaccine has given your pet sufficient protection against rabies. A vet will take a sample of your petís blood and send it to a laboratory for testing. The vet who vaccinated your pet can arrange this for you. You will need to take your petís vaccination record with you when the blood sample is taken.
Your vet will advise you on the best time to get your pet blood-tested. Make sure that your vet gives you a signed record of the date the blood sample was taken.
Where is the blood test done?
At a laboratory recognised by MAFF. At present, eleven laboratories across Europe, including one in the UK, have been recognised by MAFF. Your vet will have a list of these and can choose any one to carry out the test. Other laboratories may be added to the list as the scheme develops.
The date that the laboratory was officially recognised by MAFF is noted on the list. Blood tests performed by recognised laboratories before that date will not be accepted. This is because we can only be certain that a laboratory meets the necessary quality standards once it has been officially recognised.
Do I need to contact the laboratory myself?
No. You do not need to contact laboratories directly to arrange your petís blood test or to get the result. Your vet will do this for you.
What if my pet fails its blood test?
You should seek advice from your vet if your pet fails its blood test (in other words, the result shows that it has not been satisfactorily protected against rabies). Your pet may need to be re-vaccinated and blood tested again.
There is one final step to take before your pet can enter or re-enter the UK without quarantine. It will have to be treated against certain ticks and a tapeworm that can be carried by cats and dogs.
When does my pet have to have this treatment?
The treatment must be carried out between 24 and 48 hours before you embark for the UK and will have to be done every time your pet enters the UK.
If you are taking your animal out of the UK on a day trip, you will need to get the treatment done in the UK in the 24 to 48 hour period before your return journey starts.
Any vet in one of the countries listed in section 5 can do this. When your pet has been treated, the vet will give you a certificate to show that this has been done. The transport company staff who will check your pet will need to see this certificate so make sure it is kept safe.
You will need three pieces of paper for your pet to enter the UK.
(a) THE PETS CERTIFICATE
To get your pet into the UK (or back into the UK) you will need an official PETS certificate. This will be issued by a vet authorised by the UK Government or by the Government of one of the qualifying countries. The transport company staff who will check your pet will need to see this certificate so make sure it is kept safe.
The certificate will show that your pet:
If your pet does not meet these conditions, it will not get a PETS certificate.
How long is the certificate valid for?
A certificate will not be valid until
How do I get a certificate in the UK?
For pets resident in the UK, the certificate will be completed and issued by a government-authorised vet known as a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI). Most small animal veterinary practices in the UK have a resident LVI. If your own vet is not an LVI, they may be able to tell where the nearest one works. If not, contact your local Animal Health Divisional Office for details (listed in the phone book under Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Ministry of, or conatct the PETS helpline).
How do I get a certificate in another qualifying country?
A government-authorised vet in that country will issue the certificate. We have asked all the other countries taking part in the PETS pilot scheme to arrange for this certificate to be available from appropriate vets.
(b) THE CERTIFICATE OF TREATMENT AGAINST A TAPEWORM AND TICKS
When you get your pet treated against a tapeworm and ticks, the vet will give you an official certificate of treatment to show that this has been done. Make sure you get this certificate and that the period it covers includes the time you are due to embark for the UK.
(c) THE DECLARATION OF RESIDENCE
You will have fill in a form to declare that you have not taken your pet outside the PETS countries listed in section 5. You will be able to get the form from the transport company carrying your pet to the UK or from us.
Certification for pets leaving the UK
Depending on which qualifying country you intend to visit or go through, you may need to obtain an Export Health Certificate so that your pet can enter that country. Annex A gives more details.
11. Dangerous dogs
The Dangerous Dogs Act
In Great Britain, it against the law to possess certain types of dogs: the pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brazilero. The introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme will not affect this ban.
If you bring one of these dogs into Great Britain, you could be prosecuted and the dog seized and destroyed. If in doubt, don't travel with it.
A number of dogs in Great Britain designated as prohibited are registered as exempt from this ban. We advise that people who intend to go abroad and return to Great Britain with these dogs make sure that they carry their certificate of exemption from the Dangerous Dogs Act as well as their Pet Travel Scheme documentation.
What about dangerous dogs in other countries?
You should also be aware that some other countries do not allow certain types of dog in. For example, it is understood that France does not permit the entry of dogs that are, or look like, pit bull terriers. Owners with dogs that look similar to a pit bull terrier may be asked for documentary evidence to verify the breed. France also requires Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Tosas and Rottweilers to be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. If you are in any doubt about whether your dog will be allowed into the country you are visiting, you should contact the appropriate authorities (e.g. the Embassy) of that country.
Is my pet checked before it enters the UK?
Yes. Before you board Eurotunnel Shuttle Service or a boat travelling to the UK on one of the pilot scheme routes, staff from the transport company will check your pet's microchip and both official certificates (the PETS certificate and the certificate for tick and tapeworm treatment). If all is well, your pet will be allowed to board. In the case of airlines, these checks will be carried out either before you board or as soon as you land at Heathrow. If any of these checks fail, your pet will either have to go into quarantine on arrival in the UK, or return to the country it has come from
If you live in the UK, we strongly recommend that you check that all is in order before you go abroad with your pet or, if you live in one of the qualifying countries, before you travel to the UK with your pet.
A check list is provided at Annex B to help you prevent possible problems which may arise when your pet is checked.
Our Internet site has more information on the Pet Travel Scheme. Visit the site on: www.maff.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/ or ring the PETS Helpline on 0870 2411710 (open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday). You can also e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send us a fax on 020 7904 6834.
Taking Pets out of the UK
Some of the qualifying countries also require another, separate, certificate, (known as an Export Health Certificate), to show that your pet meets certain health conditions set out by each country. These requirements are separate from those of the Pet Travel Scheme.
At the time of writing, an Export Health Certificate is required for pets entering France, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland. Your pet may be refused entry if you do not have one.
For details of how to get an official Export Health Certificate, contact your local MAFF Animal Health Divisional Office.
If you want to take your pet to Gibraltar, Iceland or Sweden, you will also need a separate import permit, issued by the authorities in those countries. You should contact those authorities directly to obtain one; MAFF cannot issue these documents. A list of contact points is available from Export of Cats and Dogs Section, MAFF, 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ (phone 020 7904 6347, or fax on 020 7904 6428).
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Luxembourg currently require a separate certificate to show that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies. Your vet will be able to provide one.
These requirements may be subject to change by the authorities of the country concerned. So before you travel to other countries with your pet, you are strongly advised to check what documentation is required for your pet to enter that country.
What could go wrong and what you can do
1. Your pet could not be identified properly:
2. Incomplete documentation:
3. Your pet was not correctly treated against parasites:
4. Your pet has travelled outside the qualifying countries in the last six months:
PETS helpline +44 (0) 870 241 1710
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