Pet travel to England is no longer subject to the rules of the European Union Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Under the Brexit agreement, the laws for importing pets to England from another EU country are the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. However, you’ll be pleased to know that there will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering England from the EU following Brexit on 1 January 2021. Note that the United Kingdom (UK) and Great Britain (GB) don’t include the same countries as they’re different political agreements. The UK consists of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while Great Britain is just Scotland, England and Wales. Therefore Northern Ireland is part of the UK but not part of GB.
If you reside in a non-EU country, the requirements for entering England with a pet dog, cat or ferret are clearly stipulated for countries outside the European Union too. Be aware that you cannot fly a dog, cat or any other animal into England in the cabin of a plane, pets can only arrive in the hold.
If you’re taking your dog on an English adventure soon, or relocating to England with your cat, here’s all the information you need for importing a pet.
Table of contents
Pet Travel to England from the EU
When entering England with a pet cat, dog or ferret, you must have one of the following documents;
- EU Pet Passport
issued in an *EU country, or in GB before 1 January 2021, or a pet passport from a Part 1 listed third country
- Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
issued in GB and used to travel to the EU, valid for up to 4 months after it was issued
- Pet Health Certificate issued in Great Britain
for return travel into England
*Pet Passports from the following Part 1 Listed Countries are accepted:
- EU Countries
- Azores and Madeira
- Canary Islands
- French Guiana
- Greenland and the Faroe Islands
- Mayotte (French territory)
- Réunion (French territory)
- Saint Barthélemy (French Territory)
- San Marino
- Saint Martin (French part of the island – French territory)
- Vatican City State
Your pet doesn’t need a passport or health certificate if you’re entering England:
- Northern Ireland
- The Channel Islands
- The Isle of Man
Your cat, dog or ferret must be vaccinated against rabies when travelling to England from a Part 1 or 2 Listed Country, or an Un-Listed Country.
For Part 1 or 2 Listed Countries, the standard procedure for Rabies Vaccinations applies, and you must wait 21 days after the vaccination before your pet can enter England.
Rabies Vaccination for Un-Listed Countries
If you’re travelling from a country not listed in the Part 1 or Part 2 Listed Countries detailed below, then you have to adhere to the following DEFRA pet travel rule to enter England:
- Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
- Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.
- The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
- You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel – you do not need to wait if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to a country that is not listed.
- The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in a health certificate.
Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs entering England
If you’re importing your dog to England from an EU country or further afield, you’ll need to take your dog to a vet for an approved Tapeworm Treatment. You must do this no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering England.
The Tapeworm Treatment must:
- be approved for use in the country where the treatment is applied
- contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against tapeworm (Echinococcus Multilocularis)
You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re travelling directly to England from:
- Northern Ireland
Entering England with a pet from a Part 2 Listed Country
A GB Pet Health Certificate is accepted for travel to England from the following countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands (Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba), Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA (includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US virgin Islands), Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
A Pet Passport issued by one of these countries can’t be used as official documentation for travel to England.
Cats from Australia
To take a cat into England from Australia, you must have a certificate from the Australian Department of Agriculture confirming your cat has not been exposed to the Hendra virus in the 60 days before you left.
Importing Pet Dogs and Cats from Peninsular Malaysia to England
You must have a certificate from the Malaysian Government Veterinary Health services to take your dog or cat to England from Peninsular Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia, also known as West Malaysia, includes Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
The certificate must show your pet:
- has not had contact with pigs in the 60 days before you left
- has not been on a holding where Nipah disease has been found in the 60 days before you left
- has a negative blood test result for Nipah virus antibody – the test must be carried out by a laboratory approved for Nipah virus on a blood sample taken no more than 10 days before you leave
Taking a Pet to England from an Un-Listed Country
If your country of origin isn’t listed above, you’ll need a GB Pet Health Certificate to import your pet cat, dog or ferret to England.