Although this is somewhat of a nonevent since the The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS AKA Pet Passport) has been in place since 1 October 2001. The one real advantage seems to be that the hassles of PETS appear to be a thing of the past.
If you brought your pet into the UK from the EU or another listed country or territory prior to 31 December 2011, The UK required that preparations (rabies vaccination (including boosters), blood sampling, and issuing the PETS documentation) must have been done either in the UK (before you take your pet out of the UK) or in one of those listed countries or territories. The tick and tapeworm treatment must be done 24-48 hours before your pet enters the UK. Your pet can be fitted with a microchip in any country or territory.
Animals which did not meet these rules when they arrive in the UK must enter quarantine for six months prior to 31 December 2011. They may be able to be released early (before the full six month quarantine period has finished) if they can be shown to comply with the necessary PETS rules whilst in quarantine.
Add in that you had to fly approved airlines from certain airports (and this): or fly into the EU and then continue to the UK. Additionally, if you chose the UK routes, the pet had to go as cargo. It appears that there will be no change in how the new scheme works. as DEFRA point out:
Pets travelling to the UK by air will travel as cargo, unless they are a registered assistance dog entering with an approved airline, on a route that permits them to travel in the cabin.
People coming from non-PETS approved countries had to place their pets in quarantine for six months, which was a barbaric system that had been in place since 1895.
Although, looking at DEFRA’s travelling with pets page, it doesn’t seem as if things have changed too much. That means that all this isn’t really news to those of us who have been taking pets in and out of the UK since PETS came into existence on 1 October 2001. I was hoping that there would be an opening of carriers and how the pet is transported to the UK. At this point, it doesn’t seem as if there is too much to be happy about as far as pets travelling to and from the UK since they are still required to be cargo if they fly from some countries (e.g. the US).
From what I have read, it seems that the PETS scheme was not very consistent. The “new” regime just makes the PETS Scheme more “sensible”. But, as I said, this has been around since 2001. It isn’t really news for most people who have been travelling with their pets since that time.
- DEFRA’s travelling with pets page
- Animal quarantine laws to be relaxed in New Year
- Quarantine laws to be relaxed in UK
- Quarantine changes pose no rabies risk, says chief vet
- Wikpedia Pet Passport