Woody and Oban
Meet Oban and Woody. These are both lovely Guide dogs who came to see Veterinary Surgeon, Simone Holmes, at the Hindley surgery. They are about to embark on a few holidays with their owners using an EU pet passport and following the rules and regulations set out by the Pet Travel Scheme.
The EU Pet Travel Scheme permits the movement of pet animals including dogs, cats and ferrets to the UK and within the EU and certain listed countries, without the need for quarantine, providing they meet certain conditions. It also permits movement from non-EU countries along with some added extra requirements and conditions which need to be met. When looking at obtaining a passport owners are always directed to look at the certain regulations set out by the particular country they are visiting and to visit the infomation page online as set out by defra.
The main requirements for a pet passport (depending on where you are travelling to) are as follows for entering or returning to the UK following a holiday:
1)The pet has to have been microchipped.
-The pet has to be microchipped either before, or at the same time as their rabies vaccination; this is to ensure the individual animal can be identified. At Vetcare we use backhome microchips as pictured. These are placed just under the skin between the shoulder blades and the little barcode from the microchip is read using a microchip scanner.
-Both Oban and Woody were already microchipped prior to their visit to see Simone. In this case, the microchip is always scanned first, and the number checked and recorded prior to the rabies vaccination.
-Since 6th april 2016, it has also been stated in law that it is compulsory for owners to ensure that their dog is microchipped and that all details must be up to date.
2)The pet has to receive a rabies vaccination
-For this requirement, the pet has to be at least 12 weeks old.If their is any doubt the vet will require proof.
-There is a waiting period of 21 days after the rabies vaccination before a pet is able to travel or to return to the UK. Day 0 counts as the day of the rabies vaccination, with day 1 starting the day after the rabies vaccination. This means for pets which are 12 weeks of age at the time of having the vaccination, that they must be a minimum of 15 weeks old in order to travel.
-For EU countries, or those as a listed country the requirement is just the rabies vaccination. If travelling to or returning to the uk from an unlisted country however, the rules are slightly different. For unlisted countries, a blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after the date of the rabies vaccination and sent to an EU approved blood testing laboratory. The blood results have to show that the vaccination was successful with a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5IU/ml – this is to ensure that the pet has adequate immunity against rabies. There is then a 3 month waiting period from the date the blood sample was taken before travel, unless the pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.
-Booster rabies vaccinations are required in order to keep the pet passport valid, this is normally every 3 years, however some countries have different requirements and require booster vaccinations more frequently.
3)A Pet passport is issued as pictured
-Passports may only be issued by specially qualified vets known as Official Veterinarians (OVs)
-The pet passport contains all of the relevant details including the owners details, the pets details – including microchip number, date of rabies vaccination, blood test if applicable and brand of vaccine including batch number etc and also now details of the official veterinarian completing the passport.
-As above if travelling within the EU or to a listed country the passport is valid for travel from day 21 after the initial rabies vaccination.
-it is now also an requirement that the owners sign a section in the pet passport.
4)Tapeworm treatment for dogs
-Prior to returning to the UK a vet must treat your dog for tapeworm and record this within the pet passport. The treatment must contain a drug called praziquantel or an equivalent drug which is proven to be effective against a tapeworm known as Echinococcus multilocularis.
-This treatment must be given no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you enter the UK.
-There are a few exceptions to this rule, you do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if travelling back to the uk from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.
-Although tick treatment is no longer a requirement under the pet travel scheme, it is recommended that you still consider a preventative tick treatment.
If any of the above requirements are not followed, a pet is at risk at being put into quarantine for up to 4 months or refused entry if travelling by sea. It is also worth making sure that as an owner, that you have checked with the travel company if they will for example accept the pet for travel, and if any proof is required prior to travel that the animal is fit and well and if any accompanying health certificate or information is required from the Vet.
Happily though, both Oban and Woody had their full health check with vet Simone, their microchips checked and recorded and both received their rabies vaccinations. They now both have their own completed and up to date pet passport and are ready to go exploring with their owners, even visiting Belgium later on in the year.
If you are looking to set sail or go jet setting with your beloved pet, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Remember backhome microchips are currently on offer at the reduced price of £12.50. Give us a call we will be happy to book you an appointment, and remember, Oban and Woody, we hope you and your owners have a lovely time!