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Rabies vaccination schedule for pets travelling to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a specific rabies vaccination schedule for pets entering the country. Dogs and cats going to the United Kingdom must be vaccinated for rabies prior to travel. The vaccination schedule is different based on the country of origin.

If you are planning to travel with your pet to the United Kingdom, it is best to start your travel plans well ahead of the date of journey to be able to fulfil all the pet import criteria. Here’s what you should know about the rabies vaccination schedule for cats and dogs travelling to the UK:

Check your country category

The United Kingdom recognises three country categories when it comes to pet import.

  • EU country or a country that the UK accepts pet passports from – The UK accepts pet passports from all EU countries and a few non-EU countries including Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Monaco, Norway, Reunion, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City.
  • Listed countries are - Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Unlisted countries – All other countries not on the list above are categorised as unlisted. The United Kingdom does not accept pet passports from these countries.

Rabies vaccination schedule for pets from the EU and listed countries

Pets flying into the United Kingdom from an EU country, a country that the UK accepts pet passports from or a listed country will need a valid rabies vaccination before travelling.

  • Your pet must be 12 weeks or older before receiving their rabies vaccine.
  • Remember to microchip your pet before the vaccination. The microchip number must be mentioned in the pet passport.
  • Use an inactivated vaccine or recombinant rabies vaccine that is approved in your country.
  • The rabies vaccination must be given at least 21 days before the date of travel.

Rabies vaccination schedule for pets from unlisted countries

Pet dogs and cats travelling from unlisted countries must undergo the rabies titre test (RNATT) before flying into the country.

  • Microchip and vaccinate your pet against rabies with an approved inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine.
  • Draw a blood sample at least 30 days after the vaccination for blood testing. The sample must be sent to an EU-approved laboratory inside or outside the EU. The results of the titre test must show that your pet is adequately protected against rabies and that the rabies vaccination was successful. The blood must contain a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml to be deemed successful.
  • Your pet must wait for three months from the time of the drawing of blood to able to fly to the United Kingdom.
  • If your pet was vaccinated and blood tested in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country, your pet need not wait for three months as long as the vaccinations are valid.
  • The rabies titre test will be valid as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.

Vaccination certificate

The pet passport or vaccination certificate must record the following details:

  • Pet’s date of birth
  • Microchip number, date of insertion and location on your pet’s body
  • Date of vaccination
  • Name of the vaccine with the manufacturer’s name
  • Batch number and validity of the vaccine
  • Vet’s signature and contact details

Pet travel to the United Kingdom?

Pet travel to the UK will become trickier than before with the onset of Brexit. Your pet must fulfil all export criteria satisfactorily to be allowed entry into the country. If you are planning on travelling to the UK with your pet, get in touch with Petraveller for more details on the pet travel process and a comprehensive itinerary.