Articles Index/Quarantine Laws
Posted 02/24/03


The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has announced that effective December 11, 2002, dogs and cats travelling from mainland USA and Canada may enter the UK without undergoing a mandatory six-month quarantine PROVIDING a strict protocol is followed. Dogs and cats are required to enter the UK on an approved air route and travel as cargo in a container bearing an official seal.

Pets must have been microchipped, vaccinated against rabies, had blood tested by a recognized laboratory to ensure that the vaccine has given sufficient protection against rabies, issued an official PETS certificate, treated against ticks and tapeworms and issued an official certificate of treatment. Dogs and cats may not enter the UK under PETS until six months have passed from the date that a veterinarian took the blood sample which gave a successful test result. Once the vet has signed the PETS certificate and the requisite six-month period has passed, the PETS certificate is valid and an animal may enter the UK.

The six-month rule is enforced because an animal infected before vaccination would not be protected against rabies by the vaccine. Six months is the maximum time needed for most infected animals to display any clinical signs of rabies.

The rules are not hard to follow, but they do require considerable advance planning. For more complete information, visit the DEFRA web-site at or call the PETS helpline: + 011-44-870-241-1710 (Monday Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. UK time) or email at

ANTIC December, 2002

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