Moving Pets to the UK – New DEFRA Rules

Until now, the process for moving animals into the UK was a nightmare. Antiquated laws to protect against rabies – a disease that has been eradicated in the UK – meant that all pets had to be quarantined for six months prior to entry. They didn’t have to be put in kennels, but you were required to have them vaccinated, then tested, then wait 6 months, then have them tested again, then travel some time within the following 6 months or start the whole process all over again.

We were dreading it, but new rules mean we need worry no longer! The 6-month quarantine requirement has been lifted and all that is needed now is a rabies shot and then a 3-week wait. Once the 3 weeks is up, the animals can travel. Hallelujah!

Of course this doesn’t remove the other big worry – the one that keeps me up at night. You see we have the most sheltered, most spoiled and most timid cats that ever lived. I can’t even imagine how scary the process of flying is going to be for them. Theo wets himself when we take him 5 minutes down the road to the vet’s!

This is the life, Snowy!

Let me show you what I mean. Two days ago, I took photos of a day in Theo’s life. Ever since his brother died, he spends every day with me while I work (I work from home). He started out at 9am ‘helping’ by holding down my keyboard.

By 10 am he was starting to get sleepy.

11 am, out for the count

2pm, moved under the lamp for extra warmth

4pm, rolled onto back and stayed there for next hour.

5pm, aaawww.

6pm, found the energy to move to the chair and spread some hairs around before falling asleep again.

This is how every day goes for him, and pretty much how every day has gone since the beginning of his life with us 12 years ago. I can’t tell you how much I worry about making him travel all the way across the ocean and to a brand new home. Still, at least the new rules take some of the stress out of it. Perhaps valium would help with the rest – for me, not for him!

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2 thoughts on “Moving Pets to the UK – New DEFRA Rules

  1. Ah yes, a cat’s life…such stress and turmoil. My Alexander was an extremely timid guy much like your Theo and I dreaded flying with him from NY to Florida. It was supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour trip that turned into 6 very long hours. He was a trooper through it all! I was a basket case. I did make one mistake, I let him out of his carry case in the car on the way home because I felt so bad about all the time he had spent in it and the little bugger wedged himself under the driver’s seat! That was a 1/2 hour spent prying him out of there and I still have the scars to remember him by.

    I think your kitties will be fine, they’ll probably sleep through the entire flight. Take a valium and try to relax 🙂

    A side note: I use Delta Sherpa carry cases and I swear by them, they are so much easier to handle than hard cases and fit under airline seats quite easily.

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