Travelling with pets
Regulations regarding the carriage of animals are complex and vary from country to country and airline to airline. You are advised to contact the authorities in the destination country, as well as seeking advice from your airline or a specialist pet travel agency, before planning your journey.
Airlines will only carry animals if arrangements have been made in advance, as space is often limited. There are two options and your airline will be able to tell you which services they are able to offer:
- Accompanied baggage – most airlines will accept animals as accompanied baggage providing they are in a suitable container. They will travel in the baggage compartment where a suitable environment can be maintained (note: animals arriving in the UK may only do so as manifested air cargo).
- Air cargo – owners can arrange for their animals to travel as air cargo without making the journey themselves.
These vary depending on the length of the journey, the weight of the animal and the size of the container. Your airline should be able to give you an estimate of the costs.
It is advisable to avoid arriving at some airports at weekends when inspection staff may not be on duty. Other than Heathrow and Gatwick, very few airports have reception centres where animals can be released and cared for until inspection is possible.
Taking pets out of the UK
You must comply with the requirements of the destination country. Some will only require an export health certificate, some will need proof of vaccination and others will require you to obtain an import permit. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) operates an export helpline on +44 (0)20 7904 6347 or Fax +44 (0)20 7904 6395.
Arrival into the UK
Except for dogs and cats from specific countries that can comply with the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme, all pets will be required to undergo a period of quarantine. Arrangements must be made and confirmed before the journey commences.
Pet Travel Scheme - assistance dogs only
Aberdeen Airport has been approved to accept Assistance Dogs only, entering the UK under the PET travel scheme.
Assistance Dogs must meet all of the rules of the scheme (failure to do so may result in either the assistance dog not being permitted to enter the UK or for it to go into quarantine until it does meet the rules).
Assistance dog owners can use any air, sea or rail route approved by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to bring their assistance dog into Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme. On approved air routes, assistance dogs can travel with their owners in the passenger cabin.
EU Regulation 1107/2006 (concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air) requires Community air carriers to transport recognised assistance dogs in the cabin of aircraft and places obligations on airport managing bodies to provide services for handling those dogs at airports.
What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the EU and listed non EU countries:
Step 1 – Have your assistance dog Micro chipped for identification purposes.
Step 2 – Have you dog Vaccinated – After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. At least 21 days must have passed from the vaccination date before the animal can enter the UK.
Step 3 – Get your assistance dog Documentation – EU Pet Passport or Third Country Certificate.
Step 4 –Tapeworm treatment – Before entering the UK all dogs must be treated for Tapeworm. The treatment must be done 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before the animal is expected to arrive in the UK.
Step 5 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an Approved Transport Company or on an Authorised Route.
What you need to do if you are entering the UK from unlisted non EU countries:
Steps 1 – 5 above must all be followed. In addition Step 6 must be carried out
Step 6 – Arrange a Blood Test – After you PET has been vaccinated it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given a satisfactory level of protection against rabies. Blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after vaccination.
Please also refer to the information found under Special Assistance in this website with regards to pre-notification/parking/help in the terminal.
More detailed information on the PET travel scheme can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/assistance-dogs/