Bringing Pets to England

by Marlene

If moving to england, would cats have to be quarantined and for how long? Also, if horses were flown over would they be quarantined also and for how long?


To keep the UK free from rabies and certain other diseases, all animals entering the UK are usually quarantined for six months.

However, during the last few years, the UK has introduced a pet passport scheme that allows pet owners to bring cats, dogs or ferrets into the country without the animal having to spend six months in quarantine.

From January 1st, 2012, new regulations for this pet passport scheme are coming into force, depending on the country the animal is imported from.

If you and your pet are moving from the European Union or a listed country (mainland USA is a listed country) then you should:

Step 1 - Microchipping

Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.

Step 2 – Vaccination

After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.

Step 3 – Documentation

For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport. If you are preparing your animal in a non-EU listed country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate although note that Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland are also issuing passports.

Step 4 – Tapeworm treatment (dogs only)

Before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment.

Step 5 – Travel Arrangements

Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

Additional Information

The office responsible for controlling animal imports is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Contact information for all enquiries about bringing animals into the UK can be found here.

A list of countries and territories and regulations applying to pet imports

Approved routes and transport companies

Horses have a passport scheme of their own to allow travel between countries. How to obtain a horse passport and the rules that apply for bringing a horse into the UK can be found here.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to England Q & A.