The United Kingdom has relaxed its six-month quarantine restriction on cats and dogs entering the island nation from the United States and Canada, provided the animals meet the requirements of the UK Pet Travel Scheme, or PETS.
As of Dec. 11, 2002, dogs and cats from mainland America and Canada meeting the travel scheme requirements are able to forgo the six-month quarantine.
Under the new plan, pets must first be fitted with a microchip, be vaccinated against rabies, have a blood test at a recognized laboratory to show the vaccine has worked, and be issued an official PETS certificate. The certificates are available from the U.S. Agriculture Department's Veterinary Services division. The animals must also be treated with tick and tapeworm preventives just prior to traveling to the UK by air. They are transported in a container bearing a seal applied by a government official.
Two laboratories in America are recognized to perform the Fluor-escent antibody virus neutralization test. Six months must pass from the time the blood sample is taken before dogs and cats can enter the UK. In addition, pet owners must sign a declaration that their animal has not been outside certain countries during that period. Owners may need to bring a microchip scanner with them because microchips applied in America and Canada may not be compatible with the ISO-compatible scanners used in Europe.
For additional information about requirements for traveling with pets to the UK, visit www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm. Direct queries to Pet Travel Scheme, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Area 201, 1A Page St., London, England SW1P 4PQ; or email@example.com.