Pet Travel: BBC Reports Concern Regarding Pet Travel Scheme Changes

Pet Travel to UK - Pet Travel Scheme concernsThe BBC is reporting that concerned animal welfare and veterinary groups are concerned with a heightened risk of rabies in the United Kingdom after the Pet Travel Scheme was changed last year. According to the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), “during 2011, 85,774 dogs entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. In 2012, that rose to 139,216 dogs – an increase of 62%.” These groups feel that 21 days is not enough for the vaccine to be effective.

The issue is not so much about pets traveling to the UK from countries with active rabies programs like the United States, Canada or Mexico. It is?steming from concern about illegal puppy importing from countries in Eastern Europe where rabies is “endemic.” It appears that, for those who are caught, a 3 week quarantine is more tolerable than a 6 month quarantine. The sale of puppies has become a big business in many countries in Europe and the Middle East where some breeds have risen to a new stature among the middle and upper classes and importers from other countries can more easily advertise their puppies.

One could certainly argue that the tourist industry has certainly benefited from the relaxed regulations. We would hope that the United Kingdom would not find cause to reverse its ruling. Countries that actively fight rabies should not be penalized for their efforts.

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Pet Travel: BBC Reports Concern Regarding Pet Travel Scheme Changes — 7 Comments

  1. Sharon – if Jimmy is flying as checked baggage and the layover is more than 2 hours, you will need to contact Delta and ask them whether they will hold your pet and transfer it to the next flight. Otherwise you will need to claim it and re-check it. (takes time and you will need to clear customs in the US) Best to transit through Atlanta if possible.

  2. I am planning on flying Delta from Toronto to Quito August 28 with a one hour stopover in Atlanta with my Toy Poodle Jimmy. I believe he is too tall and therefore his cage to high to go under the seat so will have to go cargo. A previous comment about requiring two hours for animals traveling cargo has me concerned. Anyone have experience with this scenario?


  3. Patty – you will need to find a USDA accredited vet to fill out your paperwork so the USDA will endorse it. (they will not endorse paperwork from a non-accredited vet.) Unfortunately, there is no list of vets that are USDA accredited anywhere, and the USDA will not divulge that information. You will need to call vets near your home and ask if they are USDA accredited. Adminitedly, Taiwan is a difficult country to enter with a pet. You may want to ask if the vet has any personnel on staff that are familiar with processing paperwork for animals traveling internationally.

  4. I need an veterinarian in New York City with experience getting all paper works ready for travel to Taiwan. Please help! Thanks

  5. Anybody have experience flying with Mexican airline, Volaris, from Mexico back to the USA with pets?

  6. Hi Montanna – if you are traveling internationally, as long as you are not changing airlines and clearing customs, you should be fine. You should be changing gates only. If you are traveling in the same country, there should also be no problems.

  7. I want to travel with my two dogs but noticed my layover is 1 hour and 55 minutes. I know dogs that are in cargo you must have over 2 hours, but is it the same for dogs you are carrying?

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