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January 26, 2008
How to Relocate a pet to the UK?
We recently had a family who were moving from Manhattan to London. They had a pet cat that was moving with them, so this is what we learnt from the experience.
DEFRA is the UK government body that handles animal welfare and quarantine regulations. Only pets travelling on a Pet Passport from EU countries or those on the DEFRA approved list can enter the UK without quarantine.
Currently, cats and dogs coming into the United Kingdom from the United States must still be licensed into quarantine, according to officials at the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The U.K. government has extended its Pet Travel Scheme to include the United States. This means owners in the future who follow all the PETS procedures for preparing and documenting their animals may be able to avoid or shorten the United Kingdom’s normal six-month pet quarantine.
However, DEFRA officials acknowledged that initially, when official certification is not available and there are no approved air routes and carriers, all cats and dogs must first be licensed into quarantine. Owners who prepared their pets according to Pet Travel Scheme rules can then apply for early release.
Although a cat or dog still has go into quarantine now, it could be for as little as five days if all the procedures have been followed.
This is the list of approved non-EU countries.
Other useful links
- Program overview and procedures, www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/PETS/Procedures/owners.htm.
- Additional rules for pets from “long-haul countries” such as the United States, www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/PETS/Procedures/Support-info/other.htm.
- Index to Quarantine Information, www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/Quarantine/procedures/qprocs.htm.
- Quarantine procedures, www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/Quarantine/procedures/qprocs.htm.