We welcome exhibitors to our shows from overseas - those that have been to our shows have really enjoyed them. This page provides information about the UK PETS Travel Scheme and what you need to do so that you and your cat(s) can enter the UK without problems.
From 1 Jan 2012, the entry requirements under the UK PETS are now the same as for the rest of the EU. Advice about travel routes is given below. The specific UK legislation is the The Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011.
Please note that the information on this web-site is believed correct at the time of writing, but the official source of information is the UK Government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Their PETS Helpline can be contacted by phone at +44 870 241 1710 (Monday - Friday: 08:00 to 18:00, UK time) or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include an address and telephone number in the mail).
Haustier-Reiseverkehrsregelung - Britische Botschaft (Deutsche)
Programme de voyage des animaux de compagnie - Ambassade de Grande-Bretagne (Francais)
The information on this pages covers:
To enter the UK without quarantine, the following steps must be taken:
Note that there is a limit of 5 cats per person when entering or leaving the UK. Exceptions are available if the visit is for showing or competition purposes - see the DEFRA site.
- Your cat must be micro-chipped and be at least 3 calendar months old (the microchip should conform to ISO standard 11784 or Annex A of ISO Standard 11785).
- Your cat must be vaccinated against rabies after the microchip has been inserted.
- Wait 21 days from the date of the first vaccination (if the initial vaccination is in two parts, then the 21 days is from the date of the second vaccination)
- Obtain for the cat a Pet Passport (EU countries) or an official certificate containing this information (non-EU countries).
- Use an approved travel route to enter the UK
A wait of 21 days is not required if subsequent rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.
On checking in for your journey to the UK, your Pet Passport (or official certificate) will be carefully checked, and the microchip number on the document will be checked with a scanner against the microchip in your cat. If you do not have an ISO standard microchip, you will need to provide your own microchip scanner.
Usually, if the documentation is not correct, you will not be allowed to travel.
Advice on travel routes:
Only approved travel routes can be used to enter the UK when travelling with your cat. Routes are from either an EU country or a list of "third-party" countries such as the USA. The DEFRA site lists currently approved transport routes.
From mainland Europe, most exhibitors have found that Eurotunnel is the most convenient travel route although some prefer car ferries.
- Your pet stays with you and your car throughout the journey, and on arrival off-loading is usually quick and trouble-free.
- Eurotunnel has a dedicated area for checking your cat - the Pet Control Booth is on the right hand side just before the car check-in lanes at La Coquelles.
- If there are no other pets waiting, this only takes a few minutes to complete the formalities. I usually take just my Eurotunnel ticket and Pet Passports to the desk first, and if there are dogs present, ask the attendant to come out to the car with me for the actual microchip check. Most attendants are usually very understanding, although once or twice they have insisted the cats are brought out of the car and to the desk.
- Eurotunnel charge a supplement (currently £30 per cat) for travel from France to the UK.
Entering the UK by air usually means that the cat(s ) have to travel in the hold as "live cargo" - and this is arranged through the airline’s cargo division.
- You will need to use an IATA-approved rigid carrier for your cat.
- As cargo bookings cannot always be made far in advance, ensure that your own air ticket can be changed if live cargo space is not available on your own flight.
- As well as the cargo costs, you may also need to pay ground handling charges on arrival in the UK, before collecting your cat from the Animal Reception Centre.
- The approved airline routes frequently change - consult the DEFRA site for the latest information and also check with the airline.
The official form (equivalent to the Pet Passport) can be found here on the USDA site, as well as the current APHIS export regulations.
Airline routes frequently change, but (apart from some chartered planes) only the cargo divisions are approved carriers, which means that the cat must travel in the hold as "live cargo".
Visitors from the US might like to consider flying into Brussels or Paris with the cat in the cabin, then hiring a car at the airport to travel via Eurotunnel to the UK.