If you are one of those pet owners who, since the change in quarantine legislation, are intending to take your pet abroad with you, start planning now with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).
The Pet Travel Scheme allows your dog or cat to re-enter Britain without the need for quarantine following travel to certain foreign countries. To do so, the pet must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to travel and be treated for certain parasites before return. Whilst these details don't sound too complex the timing is all important as the pet in question cannot return to Britain for at least six months after a successful blood test.
Interested clients who require the latest details as to which countries are listed in the scheme can phone the department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 03459 33 55 77 or visit the DEFRA website.
Many pets are already microchipped and on validation of their identity with a scanner can then proceed to the vaccination course.
Depending on which countries you visit an additional health certificate may be required just before your departure stating that in the opinion of the examining veterinary surgeon the pet is well enough to travel and is free from infectious diseases.
Whilst it is a requirement that, before returning to Britain, the pet must be treated for tapeworms and certified, we are advising all our clients to treat aggressively for ticks with a suitable tick preparation such as Advantix (dogs) or Frontline (cats and dogs) before leaving. So far there have been no problems associated with rabies but there have been at least 6 canine fatalities associated with diseases acquired from foreign ticks. . . so go prepared!
For those pets who are content to remain at home whilst their owners are away ensure that all vaccinations are up to date before a trip to the kennels or cattery. Owners that have allowed their pets' vaccinations lapse will require at least three to four weeks notice before departure to ensure complete protection against viral disease.