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Contact Details


Tel: 0300 244 9874
Fax: 0300 244 9797

Animal Health and Welfare,
P Spur
Saughton House,
Broomhouse Drive,
EH11 3XD

Imports and Exports - Pet Travel Scheme

Pets Helpline - 0370 241 1710

Current Issues

Consultation - The Review of The Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011 (as amended) (NCMPAO)- Start Date -15 September to 27 October 2016

The Scottish Government, Defra and the Welsh Government are seeking views on the implementation of the NCMPAO which details how the European Union (EU) pet travel scheme Regulation (EU No. 576/2013) operates in Great Britain (GB). 

This consultation which can be accessed on the GOV.UK website, will be of interest to pet owners, pet organisations, veterinary practices, animal welfare charities, pet transport companies, local authorities and anyone involved in pet travel.

EU Pet Travel Scheme

Changes to the Pet Travel Scheme were introduced by a new EU Regulation (EU No 576/2013) which came into effect on 29 December 2014.  This Regulation replaced  EC Regulation No. 998/2003.  These changes were implemented in Great Britain (GB) by introduction of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals (Amendment) Order 2014 which amended the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011.

The Scottish Government, Defra and the Welsh Government consulted on changes to the EU pet travel scheme from 4 August until 14 September 2014 and a summary of all consultation responses is available on the Gov.UK website.

Although the main requirements of the scheme stayed the same, a number of changes were introduced to strengthen the regime, including introduction of a more secure and traceable pet passport.  There was no change to the checking regime in Great Britain and it remains the case that all pets travelling with their owners or an authorised person on an approved route will be checked by the ferry, rail and air operators to ensure that they are compliant with the pet travel rules.  These carriers are approved by APHA who will confirm that checking staff are appropriately trained.

What changed

The key changes are outlined below and a guidance leaflet providing "information for pet owners" is available on the Gov.UK website.

  • The Pet Passport - A new style pet passport was introduced, however, if you already had an old style pet passport this will remain valid for the lifetime of the pet or until all the treatment spaces are used up.
  • Minimum age for rabies vaccination - from 29 December 2014 pets must be at least 12 weeks old before being vaccinated against rabies.
  • Rules for travelling with more than five pets - If you are travelling with more than five pets, you will need to comply with additional rules, unless you are travelling with pets aged over six months old to attend a show or a competition.  It is necessary to complete a written declaration and present written evidence that the pets travelling are registered to attend such an event.
  • Pets travelling from Non EU Countries - If your pet is entering the UK from a non EU country on either a health certificate or a pet passport, a signed declaration is required to confirm that there is no intention to sell or transfer ownership of the pet and that the movement is within five days of travel of the owner or an individual authorised by the owner.  It is not permitted under the Pet Travel rules for the time between movement of the owner and the pet animal to be more than five days either side, in such cases the rules for commercial movements should be followed instead.

For further information on any of the changes outlined above or in the "information for pet owners" leaflet, please contact the Pet Travel Scheme Helpline:

  • Telephone: 0370 241 1710 - Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm (closed bank holidays)
  • Email: pettravel@apha.gsi.gov.uk

Important points to remember...

  • The Pet Travel Scheme rules apply to all dogs, cats and ferrets travelling with their owners (including assistance and guide dogs).
  • If you are rehoming a pet dog, cat or ferret (i.e. from a pet rescue charity) or purchasing a puppy or kitten from outwith the UK - these movements are considered to be commercial and therefore these animals are not eligible to travel under the Pet Travel Scheme and the rules for commercial movements should be followed.
  • You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK and that its documentation (i.e. Pet Passport) is correctly completed.  If you do not, your pet may not be allowed to enter the country or it may have to be quarantined on arrival at your own expense.