Traveling With Pets

Traveling with pets from South Africa to the United Kingdom

Traveling with pets from South Africa to the United Kingdom can be a complex process, involving meticulous planning and understanding of the regulations to ensure a smooth journey for your animal companion. This blog post will guide you through the essential steps and requirements for pet travel and immigration from South Africa to the UK.

1. Understand the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

The UK’s Pet Travel Scheme allows pet dogs, cats, and ferrets from certain countries, including South Africa, to enter the UK without quarantine, provided they meet specific health and identification requirements. South Africa is not listed as a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country under the scheme, so additional steps will be necessary.

2. Microchipping

Before any vaccinations are done, your pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. If the microchip does not meet these standards, you may need to bring your own microchip scanner.

3. Rabies Vaccination and Documentation

All pets must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be done after the microchip is implanted. The rabies vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before traveling but not more than a year before entry into the UK. You’ll need to obtain an official veterinary certificate confirming the vaccination.

4. Blood Titer Test

Since South Africa is an unlisted country, a blood titer test is required to enter the UK. The test must be conducted at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Your pet’s blood sample will be sent to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory. The results must show that the vaccination was successful (a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml). You must wait three months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel.

5. Tapeworm Treatment (Dogs Only)

If you’re bringing a dog, it must be treated for tapeworm 24 to 120 hours before entering the UK. The treatment must be recorded by a veterinarian in the pet’s health certificate.

6. Health Certificate

Within 10 days of travel, you must visit a licensed veterinarian to obtain an animal health certificate for your pet. This certificate confirms that your pet has met all the health requirements. The certificate must accompany your pet to the UK.

7. Choosing a Route and Transport Company

When traveling from South Africa to the UK with a pet, you must use an approved transport company and an authorized route. Check with the transport company if they handle pets or if you need to use a pet relocation service.

8. Arrival in the UK

Upon arrival in the UK, pets usually enter through designated travelers’ points of entry. Your pet may be checked for compliance with the above requirements, and any discrepancies may lead to quarantine at your expense.

9. Prepare for Unexpected Delays

Travel plans can be unpredictable. It’s wise to prepare for potential delays or issues, such as additional vaccinations, extended quarantine periods, or unexpected paperwork.

Traveling with pets from South Africa to the UK requires careful planning and adherence to specific regulatory requirements. Starting preparations well in advance is crucial to ensuring that your pet travels safely and legally. Consulting with a pet relocation expert can also be beneficial to navigate the complexities of international pet travel regulations.

This guide provides a general overview, but always check the latest guidelines from official sources or consult with a professional pet relocation service to ensure compliance with the most current regulations. Safe travels!