How to get a Pet Passport
By Sean D
To help with allowing pets into the UK and also allowing them to travel around the European Union without having to go into quarantine the government requires they have a pet passport. The passport is issued by a government-authorised vet known as a local Veterinary Inspector (LVI) if your local veterinary surgery does not have a registered LVI working with them they should be able to give you the contact details for one in your area.
At the time of writing this article DEFRA the government department responsible for the overseeing of pet passports does not charge a fee for the passport, although you should check this yourself as with all information it is subject to change with out prior warning.
To get the passport your pet must have a microchip fitted, this is lodged under the skin and allows vets and government officials to scan the animal to check that it is the same one documented on the pet passport. After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. The final part of the procedure is a blood test; the test is to check that the vaccine has given your pet the correct level of protection against rabies.
Once you have the pet passport you can leave the UK for any European Union country but you must wait for 6 months after the blood sample that showed clear was taken before you can bring your pet back into the UK. This does not mean that you need to keep your pet out of the country for 6 months it just means that you should plan ahead, if you know that you plan to go to France until the beginning of September you should have had the blood test cleared by the previous February, it is a case of planning ahead.
Your vets should be able to help with all of the points outlined above, but I hope that this has given you a clearer guide to what you need to do, the passport is valid for two years for entry back in to the UK from the date of the vaccination although some other countries only give a year, so it is better to get it done sooner rather than later, to check for the latest details the DEFRA website is http://www.defra.gov.uk and there contact details can be found there.
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