Rabies Controls UK

The rabies controls for the UK are strict and must be adhered to.

Rabies Regulations for the UK Since the 1st January 2012

  • the animal must be electronically chipped before being vaccinated
  • the animal needs a properly completed and verified rabies passport to travel
  • the animal no longer needs to be treated against ticks.
  • dogs still need tapeworm treatment. The treatment must be administered by a vet no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before its scheduled arrival time in the UK.
  • the blood test for cats and dogs is no longer required but the vaccination against rabies must have been administered at least 21 days before travelling back to the UK
  • What to check is present in the pet passport before travelling: date of birth/age of the animal
    • the microchip number, date of insertion and its location in the animal
    • the date of vaccination
    • the vaccine manufacturer, product name and batch number
    • the date by which the booster vaccination must be given (i.e. the “Valid until” date). This date is calculated by reference to the validity period of the vaccine given in the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet.
    • the entry for tapeworm treatment has now been detailed as above, so ensure the vet signs and dates the relevant page with the time of administration.
  • These rules only apply for certain European countries, so for the official government advice on the Pet Travel Scheme use the link below and ensure you have the very latest information available and understand the difference between an EU country and a non EU country

Disclaimer

These regulations are offered as general guidelines only, the onus is upon whoever is reading this information to ensure that they are complying fully with the regulations and fully understand the implications of not doing so. Please visit the official government advice page (Pet Travel Scheme) for the latest and most up to date information.

The rabies regulations for entry into the UK have been relaxed a little since 2012 and the following provides an insight into what the rules were before they changed. It is clear that the changes have made life much easier and a little less expensive for animal owners which is a welcome bonus for people making regular trips to and from the UK with their animals.

The reasons for the changes in the rules are due to the improvements made to rabies vaccinations and their reliability in providing an effective barrier against the contraction of this very dangerous disease.

The Rabies Regulations Before 1st January 2012

The basic requirements for rabies regulations in the UK up until the 31st December 2011:

  • the animal had to be electronically chipped before being vaccinated and havings it’s subsequent blood test
  • the animal needed a properly completed and verified rabies passport to travel
  • the animal needed to be treated against ticks and tapeworms at least 24 hours and no more than 48 hours before entering the UK , this was entered into the pet passport and signed for by the vet
    *entering the UK would have been considered as the time you board the transport that takes you to the UK e.g. the ferry
  • the blood test result showing that the animal has a satisfactory anti-body level against rabies had to be verified at least 6 months (from the date the successful blood sample was taken) before travelling to the UK (note: it was possible for the vaccine to fail and for a need to have further boosters applied to achieve the required anti-body level, but after the 30th June 2011 having the blood test done was a pointless exercise as the new rules coming into effect arrived sooner)
  • What needed to be checked and was present in the pet passport before travelling:
    • date of birth/age of the animal
    • the microchip number, date of insertion and its location in the animal
    • the date of vaccination
    • the vaccine manufacturer, product name and batch number
    • the date by which the booster vaccination must be given (i.e. the “Valid until” date). This date is calculated by reference to the validity period of the vaccine given in the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet.
    • the entry for the tick and tapeworm treatment with dates and times when returning to the UK

Of course all of the above is academic now because these rules have of course been superseded by the new rabies regulations listed at the top of the page.

BBC Report on Rabies Regulations Changes

Chief veterinary officer explains why the Rabies Regulations could be changed.



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