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Changes to the UK's Pet Travel Scheme

Press Release 30th June 11

The Kennel Club has issued a note of caution following the announcement of changes to the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme from next year, amidst concerns that they could have a negative impact on dog health.

Defra has announced that from January 1st 2012, changes to the scheme will include reducing the length of time after vaccination that a dog may travel, the removal of the requirement to blood test the dog before travel and the removal of the need to have the dog treated for ticks. A decision on whether to continue to treat for tapeworms is yet to be finalised.

A word from the Kennel Club

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director at the Kennel Club commented: “Whilst this potentially represents a significant cost saving for dog owners, it could lead to serious health problems if owners stop treating their dogs for ticks and tapeworms. The Pet Travel Scheme was originally set up to protect human health but it is also vital to ensure that owners continue to protect their dogs’ health by carrying out both of these treatments. 

“Tapeworms and ticks can lead to serious illness in dogs – illnesses which are not currently found in the UK. To this end the Kennel Club will be producing help and advice to dog owners whilst continuing to discuss this issue with Defra.”

The Pet Travel Scheme came into force in 2001, allowing British travellers to take their dogs on holiday in certain countries, and UK and overseas competitors to take part in dog shows and events more freely. 

The requirements of the scheme – in regard to vaccination and treatment for ticks and tapeworms – have proved to be largely successful and have led to further lifting of quarantine regulations in the intervening period. Overseas competitors wishing to attend shows in the UK are now more freely able to qualify their dogs, both here and in their own countries, to attend shows such as Crufts.

Changes to scheme

Now, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has outlined that the current scheme will be changing as of next year. The main change is the removal of the requirement to blood test the dog post the rabies vaccination and six months before entry or return to the UK from within the EU and certain other listed countries, replacing this with a waiting period of 21 days after the rabies vaccination. Unlisted countries outside the EU will require a blood test to be carried out after vaccination and a further waiting time of three months from the time of the blood test, instead of the present six months after vaccination. Defra has also announced that tick treatments will no longer be required and are awaiting a decision at a European level regarding tapeworm provisions.

Full details of the changes to the Pet Passport Travel Scheme can be found below:

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries:

Requirement

Now

From 1 January 2012

Microchip

Yes

Yes

Rabies vaccination

Yes

Yes

Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate)

Yes

Yes

Blood test (dogs and cats)

Yes

No

Pre-entry waiting period

Yes

Yes

Length of waiting period before entry to the UK

6 months from date  sample taken for blood test

 21 days after vaccination against rabies

Tick treatment

Yes (24-48 hours before embarkation)

No

Tapeworm treatment

Yes (as for ticks)

Under consideration at European level


Entry rules for pets entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries:

Requirement

Now

From 1 January 2012

Microchip

All pets from unlisted third countries are licensed into quarantine for 6 months and vaccinated against rabies on arrival

Yes

Rabies vaccination

Yes

Blood test

Yes.  Blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination.

Documentation
(third country certificate)

Yes

Pre-entry waiting period

Yes

Length of waiting period before entry to the UK

 3 months after blood sample date

Tick treatment

No

Tapeworm treatment

Under consideration at European level

 

Dogs Worldwide.com - (Correct at time of publication) for more information contact the Kennel Club tel: 0844 463 3980

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