Want to bring your pets with you? They may need a visa too! Not all animals will need a UK visa, but every pet is subject to strict import regulations that you will need to follow. Import requirements for your pets mainly depend on the country where you and your pets have previously lived and the different types of animals you want to bring with you.
The arrival of pets in the UK is regulated by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A dog, cat, or ferret can be brought into the UK without quarantine if they come from a ‘listed country’ which participates in the European Union’s pet travel scheme. However, for the EU scheme to apply there are several more conditions to fulfill and to bring a dog, cat, or ferret from an ‘unlisted country’ will need to meet further regulations.
If your pet does not meet the listed requirements, it will be quarantined, no matter where it comes from. Newly arrived pets in the UK may be kept in quarantine for several months and you will have to pay for all the costs yourself.
Please bear in mind that certain dog breeds may not be imported into the UK. You can find further information on the taking your pet abroad web page of the government website.
There are no restrictions on bringing pet rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to the UK from other EU countries. However, pet rabbits and rodents from countries outside the EU must spend 4 months in quarantine and they will need a rabies import licence.
To keep any other animals from abroad as pets in the UK, you need a special import license. These animals also have to spend up to six months in quarantine. However, there are certain exceptions for horses, which can travel under a plan similar to the pet travel scheme, but they will require a passport.
For further information please see the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency website.