Now Boarding: The Pet Passport

My friend John is moving from Chicago to Berlin for work in mid-June and taking his cats with him (You can read all about his upcoming plans on his blog at www.doppnee.com). He also has experience being an expat in Paris, where we first met. From his insightful site I have learned about the delightful pet passport which lets pets travel to parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada with you.

Now, this is not some cute little version of a human passport with the pet’s picture and name scrawled inside with a pawprint for a signature, so the pet can get all the same stamps at immigration. It is essentially some form of paperwork signed by the vet certifying that Scruffy has been vaccinated against rabies, along with Scruffy’s microchip or tattoo number. This document allows the pet to enter certain member countries of PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) without a six-month quarantine period as required by many other countries.  Checking Scruffy for ticks and tapeworm (yeeach) when traveling in and out of Europe may also be required. The Pet passport was initally a British thing before it expanded into the European Union, and subsequently all the English-speaking nations of the world.

If you’re only going on a short holiday and insist on taking Scruffy with you to experience pet hotels of the world, definitely check with the country and with the U.S. about bringing animals back from that country and what’s required. You may want to leave your pet home instead if he/ she is required to sit in quarantine for six months after, and that’s not much of a fun vacation for either of you.

Aside: Another interesting tidbit I learned about the British is that the Pet Passport was created by the U.K.’s Official Monster Raving Loony political Party. It was founded in 1964, a great subject for comedy shows like Monty Python, and actually elected candidates to local town councils and even higher. While each of its members had renamed themselves something like “R.U. Seerius”, they actually came up with real ideas and passed them into British law.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Now Boarding: The Pet Passport

  1. Thanks for the plug! Although that link mentions the pet passport for the EU in general, from what I’ve seen it’s really only the UK and Ireland that care about it because they’ve eradicated rabies from their islands. Even with the pet passport, you still have to give your pet the rabies vaccination, get its blood tested, and wait 6 months before entering the UK. But at least that’s better than 6 months in quarantine. Mainland Europe hasn’t eradicated rabes, so they’re a lot less stringent—I’ve never heard of a quarantine period on the mainland.

    I didn’t bother with a pet passport when we went to France—they just wanted a couple of tests and a flea & tick treatment, and then my vet had to fill out and stamp the relevant French form, which also required the pet’s microchip number. Then I brought those forms with me as we traveled.

    In principle, at the airport they scan the animal to make sure it’s the same one described on the form. But in reality, no one even stopped to ask me anything about the cats. It is France, after all 😉

  2. My wife and I took our dog to the UK about six months ago and had to get a pet passport as well. I comletely understand why they want you to do this since they don’t currenlty have rabbies. It was a bit of a pain to go through, but we followed the procedures and got it taken care of. Just be sure to do the work well in advance to avoid any problems.

  3. The Ravings of a Monster Raving Loony : Election Countdown.
    By lordtobyjug
    A loony time had by all at this years party conference, all prospective official loony candidates and delegates were encouraged to spend as much as they could at the bar of The Raven Hotel, in Hook, Hampshire, and put it on their expenses ! We, the party faithful, are determined to field fifty candidates at the next general election, if we do, we will qualify for our first party political broadcast. It will be the only one people actually watch and don’t go and make a cup of tea !

    Tags: Put it On Your Expenses

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