UK PETS Travel Scheme

Exporting cats and dogs from Australia to the United Kingdom

The UK PETS Travel Scheme is a Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) initiative to facilitate the import or re-entry of cats and dogs into the UK without quarantine from EU countries or non-EU listed countries that do not pose a significant rabies risk.

What are the requirements for cats and dogs travelling to the UK under PETS?

In summary, the export requirements for cats and dogs travelling to the UK under PETS must comply with the following conditions:

  1. Animals must be implanted with a microchip. The microchip must be ISO compatible.
  2. Animals must be vaccinated with an approved inactivated or recombinant rabies vaccine after microchip identification. You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling. 
  3. Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 1 to 5 days before their scheduled arrival time in the UK - treatment must be carried out and recorded by a veterinarian with an approved tapeworm product.
  4. Animals must be issued with an official PETS certificate (from an accredited veterinarian).
  5. Animals must travel on an approved carrier via an approved route.
  6. Cats from Australia are prohibited from entering the UK unless they are accompanied by a certificate from the Australian Veterinary Authorities confirming that they have not been on a holding where Hendra virus has been confirmed during the 60 days prior to export.

AQIS requirements irrespective of travel scheme

Contact an AQIS-accredited veterinarian (AAV) to discuss the export process, the importing country's requirements and arrange for the relevant treatments, inspections and documentation to be completed well in advance of the intended date of export.

If there is any likelihood that your pet will be returning to Australia, it is imperative that you discuss this with AQIS as early as possible. If you wish to re-import your pet within six months of export, preparations must be made prior to leaving Australia.

Irrespective of which scheme is used, AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) requires:

  • All preparation of the animal by an AQIS accredited veterinarian.
  • AQIS to be notified at least 7 days prior to export via a ‘Notice of Intention’
  • All documents to be presented to AQIS within 72 hours of export for issuance of Export Permit, Health Certificate (and if pet is travelling under PET Scheme a Pet Certificate).
  • All AQIS export fees to be paid.

How to find an AQIS accredited veterinarian

A list of AQIS-accredited veterinarians and specific export protocols for cats and dogs travelling to the UK (and other countries) can be found on the Biosecurity in Australia website.

More information on the UK PETS Travel Scheme can be found on the DEFRA website.


By Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Last updated 14 February 2014

Bookmark and Share