Taking Pets to Australia

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Taking a Dog or Cat into the UK

provided by Airpets Heathrow.


Taking your pet dog or cat into the UK from Australia under the Pet Travel Scheme?

From 1 January 2012 all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have been able to enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme.

Animals which do not comply with the rules must be quarantined until they are compliant and an Import Permit will be required before entry is allowed into UK.

What you need to know if you are entering the UK from Europe or a listed non-european country such as Australia.

To prepare your dog, cat or ferret:
  1. Have your pet microchipped - Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.
  2. Have your pet vaccinated against rabies - After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.
  3. Get pet travel documentation - Animals being prepared from Australia will need to obtain an official "third country veterinary certificate" which can be downloaded from www.defra.gov.uk
  4. Tapeworm treatment - (dogs only): before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment.
  5. Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved airline such as Quantas or British Airways, using an authorised route.
Cats must be accompanied by a certificate showing protection against Hendra disease.

Taking more than five pets with you to the UK? You will need to visit www.defra.gov.uk and the Pet Travel Scheme helpline. Check out www.defra.gov.uk for more details and any changes in requirements that can occur periodically.

All pets must arrive in the UK as manifest cargo and can take a while to clear customs. Imagine you have just flown half way round the world with your pets (that maybe on the same flight) and once landed you then have to find your way round to the official Animal Reception Centre in the cargo area.

So it may be helpful to know there are reliable pet import agents in the UK who can:

  • Book your pet(s) flight and arrange customs clearance at Heathrow.
  • Arrange collection from your address in Australia and pre flight boarding.
  • Pre-flight check on all your veterinary and import documents.
  • Collect your pets from the official Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow and look after them until you are ready to collect or wait until you are settled and they will be delivered to your home anywhere in the UK.