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This photo was taken with kind permission of the pet passport control authorities for Eurotunnel in Calais
When the Pet Passport Scheme (PETS) was introduced in October 2001, it was initially to benefit animals entering or returning into the UK from other member countries in Europe. Prior to that date, any animal coming into this country had to spend a mandatory 6 months in quarantine. Since that time other countries have become a part of PETS including Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The scheme has proved to be an enormous advantage to those who have moved here from other countries to work, those who have second properties abroad and those who simply would not dream of holidaying outside of the UK because they did not want to leave their dogs in kennels. All said and done, the regulations prior to 2012 were quite rigorous and a reasonable amount of knowledge, organisation and expense were required.
From the 1st January 2012, the UK pet travel rules have been changed to bring them in line with the European Union. All pets can now enter and re-enter the UK without quarantine providing they follow the rules of the Pet Passport Scheme, however the requirements vary according part of the world that the animal is entering from.
Animals that do not meet the specifications will still be licensed to quarantine but may be able to obtain an early release once proved that they can comply to travel requirements.
It may seem an anathema that there are still procedures that have to be met prior to re-entering the UK but these have been put in place to prevent certain diseases being brought into the country that currently do not exist in the UK, the most important being rabies and the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, both of which can be fatal to humans.
It can be a very pleasurable experience travelling abroad with your dog and often you will find that other European countries are more dog friendly than England. However, despite the relaxation of the rules, it can be a bit daunting to the first time pet traveller, especially knowing that they are totally responsible for making sure the procedures are carried out correctly.
London Dog Forum aims to help would-be pet travellers take this first step by providing an easy guide to getting a passport, explaining the regulations for dogs returning to the UK, giving advice on what to pack for your dog plus some sound tips for your journey. Click the highlighted titles at the top of the page for more details.
Further information can be obtained from: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/
Related articles: DISEASES THAT CAN BE PASSED FROM DOGS TO MAN
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