Pet's Passport Scheme - Getting it Right
Having a passport for your pet is becoming much more common. People are travelling into Europe and taking pets with them and many breeders like us have decided to import dogs using the passport scheme to avoid the dog having to spend any time in quarantine. Passports can be arranged at most European vets including most UK vets but unfortunately they are not always completely understood. They are not like our passports that just need to be shown at a desk, they need to be completed in a certain way and to have to be kept up to date. Here is what one website says about the process of getting a passport:
A pet cat or dog, including guide and hearing dogs, will have to meet certain conditions to be able to enter or re-enter the UK without quarantine. It will have to be:
- Identified with a microchip
- Vaccinated against rabies
- Blood tested at an EU-approved laboratory and get a satisfactory result
- Issued with an EU pet passport
- Treated against ticks and tapeworms before travel
For dogs and cats entering or re-entering the UK these steps must be carried out in the order shown.
This procedure seems fairly straightforward and most vets think it is. However I am aware of many mistakes and many difficult situations that travellers or people importing dogs or cats have ended up in because they were incorrectly advised in the UK or by foreign vets. It is no fun to arrive at Calais and be told your dog can’t travel. When you are delayed by 24 hours its expensive an annoying, but that’s only for the tick and tapeworm part, if the rest is not completed correctly then you could have a 6 month delay for your dog or have to take them into quarantine in the UK. This is not only hugely costly but emotionally stressful.
Below we have written out the procedure in more details for you to try to help. However we do offer to check any passports before you travel or before you go abroad to collect a pet for a fee of £15. This is a lot cheaper than a night in a hotel and another set of Vets bills if it goes wrong. We also offer a 100% refund if for any reason we miss something that does cause a delay, although we have been through the checks so many times we are confident this wont happen. If you would like to make use of this service then please email scans of every page of your Pets passport to PETS@luna-scura.com, if you already know your return travel dates please include this information in the email and we will inform you of the earliest and latest dates/times you can get the tick and worm treatments completed so you can plan this into your travel itinerary. To date we have seen missing signatures, missing titre test pages, dates incorrect, no stamp, microchip dates not completed… you name it we’ve seen it so please if you don’t use our service make sure you don’t take things for granted that the vet will have gotten them right.
Our Guide for getting it right:
- MICRO-CHIPPING - Have your pet micro-chipped as soon as possible; most responsible owners have this done anyway. However it must be the first thing done before any of the other procedures for PETS are carried out; your pet must be fitted with a microchip so that it can be properly identified. We offer a micro-chipping service but you can also go to your vet.
- RABIES VACINE - After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination it must be done AFTER the micro-chipping date. The rabies vaccination may not be given to a puppy under the age of 3 months. We recommend that you also give a second vaccination to your dog 2 weeks after the first if this is the first time it has been vaccinated for rabies.
- RABIES TITRE TEST - After your pet has been vaccinated against rabies, it must be blood tested to make sure that the vaccine has given it a satisfactory level of protection against rabies. This should be approximately 30 days after the rabies vaccination was administered and we suggest that you pre-book this appointment with your vet at the date of vaccination. Your vet will arrange this and this will need to have a result of >0.5 to be valid. If the test is failed it will need to be redone and another vaccination may also be required. Your vet will advise you on this.
- PASSPORT – After the vet receives a passing blood test result they will complete the EU PET PASSPORT. You should ensure they complete the following sections:
- Race, Breed, Sex and description of the pet
- Microchip Number and Date of implantation
- Make and serial number of the Rabies Vaccination along with the date, vets stamp and signature
- The page for the Blood test result (recommended to include the result) ensure that the vet includes the correct date of the blood test, their stamp and signature
- Other vaccinations – your vet should copy these from their records or previous vaccination card and date, stamp and sign the entries.
- VALID DATE OF PASSPORT - PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PASSPORT WILL NOT BE VALID FOR ENTRY OR RE-ENTRY INTO THE UK UNTIL 6 MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF THE BLOOD TEST (Blood Taken date) THAT HAD A VALID RESULT. It is a good idea to staple a COPY of the titre test result sheet to the inside cover of the PET PASSPORT.
- UPDATES – It is VITAL that the passport is kept up to date. The rabies vaccination is unlike normal annual vaccinations in that it MUST be renewed before the date the previous vaccination expires. If this is missed then a new rabies vaccination, blood test and 6 month wait will be required.
- TICK & TAPE - Before your pet enters the UK, it must be treated against ticks and a tapeworm. Your pet must be treated against ticks and a tapeworm not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before it is checked in with an approved transport company for its journey into the UK.
- QUALIFYING COUNTRIES – Not only must your pet enter the UK from a listed country travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route it must not go outside of any qualifying countries while you are abroad. If a dog with a valid passport goes into or through a non qualifying country its passport will become invalid and another titre test will be required and another 6 month wait will be required. For a list of qualifying countries please refer to: www.defra.gov.uk