Do you take your pet abroad? Are you bringing back more than you think?
Management of parasites is an important consideration for all responsible pet owners. Pets can now enjoy largely free movement within Europe, which means that they can accompany owners on holiday and animals can be bought and adopted from abroad.
If you do travel with your pet outside the UK then you could be exposing your pet and yourself to some parasites that we don't currently have in the UK. In particular Echinococcus multilocularis is found across much of Central Europe. Ticks, mosquitoes and sandflies are also a problem across many parts of the continent, especially because of the infections and diseases that they can transmit.
If you are going to travel with your pet then you need to consider a number of points:
- It is important that you research the relevant pet travel regulations for the countries that you are planning to visit. Many countries have different laws which need to be abided by in order to avoid pet quarantine or delayed departure and arrival.
- Travel regulations are not designed to protect pets against parasites. Their primary purpose is to protect human health and the spread of exotic diseases between countries. Pet parasite protection is therefore an additional consideration for the owner. It is important that you protect your pet against the parasites in the areas that you travel
- Protection of your pet against some of the exotic parasites found abroad requires measures and treatments over and above the ones you use routinely at home. It is important that you speak to your vet to plan how best to protect your pet from exotic parasites and diseases whilst you are away
- Preparation for pet travel can take some time and so it is important that you devise a protection plan well in advance of the date of departure
PET TRAVEL RULES FROM 1st January 2021
Pet travel from the UK and into EU/listed countries
In order to take your cat/dog/ferret out of the UK and into an EU/listed country your pet must:
- be microchipped
- be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before entry into the EU/listed country (either a booster - provided it is given on time, or a full vaccine if required)
- have an Animal health certificate (AHC). This is also now required for travel to Northern Ireland from any other part of the UK
- Tapeworm treatment by a vet not less that 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (between 1 and 5 days) before arrival in the destination country if travelling to Finland, Norway, Malta and The Republic of Ireland. This treatment is also now required for dogs entering Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK.
Pet travel into the UK from EU/listed countries
In order to take your cat/dog/ferret out of an EU/listed country and into the UK your pet must:
- be microchipped
- be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before entry into the UK (either a booster - provided it is given on time, or a full vaccine if required)
- have an EU pet passport
- dogs be treated for tapeworms by a vet not less that 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (between 1 and 5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK
- there is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment but this is still strongly recommended
- arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company or on an authorised route
All this might seem daunting but ESCCAP UK has developed resources to make the development of your pet's travel protection plan much less complicated:
* Parasite Maps
Use these maps to see which parasites you need to advise pet owners to protect their pets from when they travel abroad. Click Here
*COMING SOON! Travel Timeline
Use this timeline to develop an action plan for pet's travel requirements and parasite protection in order to ensure that pet owners do not receive any delays in their planned departures and arrivals.
Top tips to protect your pet and family when travelling!
As well as following the general advice on keeping your pet and family safe at home, you need to take extra precautions to protect your pet and family when you travel. It is important that you consult your vet and prepare your pets' treatment and prevention plan well in advance of travel.
Items to discuss include:
- Where and when you are planning to travel
- Whether your pet has to travel with you
- For how long you will be away
- How you plan to manage your pet, for example will it be kept indoors, be able to roam freely, will it be outdoors at dusk and at night?
- Your pet's individual lifestyle and circumstances
- Ensuring that you comply with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
You may also find it helpful to contact a local vet at your place of destination, in advance of travel, to get their advice on local parasite diseases and prevention methods.