Pet Passports Explained
The pet passport explained and its impact on Pet Insurance
In years gone by, it would have been very difficult for pet owners to take their companions abroad, even if they had a clean bill of health. Months of potentially traumatic quarantine for the animal, and seemingly endless unhappy days for the owner were the norm. The rules were in place to protect the country from rabies and other diseases, even though countries such as the UK have virtually eradicated rabies in pets. In the whole time quarantine has been in effect there has never been a case of rabies detected at the quarantine centres. So effectively they were a waste of time and money. They were also very traumatic for the dogs. Many ended with behavioural problems or even died whilst they were incarcerated for six months in the many quarantine centres around the country.
Therefore, the Pet Travel Scheme was established in order for pets to travel from countries with good records in regards to rabies and disease prevention. It’s meant that lots of pets have been able to join their owners when they go abroad for a long period of time without the stress and pain of quarantine. Thousands of pet owners have benefited from the scheme so far, and with the scheme being relatively straightforward, many more are set to take advantage of it.
A Pet Passport is essential for your animal to be eligible to utilise the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which allows dogs, cats and ferrets to travel to selected countries without a lengthy quarantine, and also travel to EU countries and back again.
Passports for pets are issued by government-authorised local Veterinary Inspectors. Any vets who aren’t approved are not able to issue pet passports, so check that they have the relevant documentation.
There are a number of criteria that your pet must meet in order to get a pet passport.
These are as follows:
- A microchip under the pet’s skin, which allows vets and officials to scan the animal and check its identity corresponds to the information on the passport.
- A vaccination against rabies, even if your pet has already been vaccinated.
- A blood test to determine that the correct level of vaccine has been administered.
- Your pet may not enter/re-enter the UK under PETS until six months have passed from the date that a blood sample was taken, which led to a successful test result. If your vet issues the passport after that six-month period has passed, it will be valid for entry to the UK immediately. The animal must also have traveled on a designated route with an approved carrier.
- Most initial rabies jabs are give at 3 months old at the earliest. Therefore your pet would normally have to be at least 9 months old with a successful blood test to allow it to enter the UK. It can leave at anytime but may not re-enter until this criteria is in place.
re insurers consider them to be a riskier prospect to insure.