Guidance

Put your pet in rabies quarantine

When your pet must go in quarantine, how to book a pet carrier and quarantine premises, and how to get your pet released from quarantine.

This guidance applies to pet cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits and rodents.

Contact APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) if you’re travelling with a different pet.

Telephone: 03000 200 301
imports@apha.gsi.gov.uk

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When you don’t need to put your pet in quarantine

You don’t need to put your pet cat, dog or ferret in rabies quarantine when it enters England, Scotland or Wales if one of the following applies:

  • it’s travelling within the UK
  • it’s travelling between the UK and the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • it meets the pet travel rules

You don’t have to put your pet rabbit or rodent in quarantine if it travels from an EU country and it’s been living there for at least 4 months.

Stopover without going through customs

You don’t have to put your pet cat, dog or ferret in quarantine if both the following apply:

  • it arrives and leaves within 48 hours
  • it stays in a holding facility at the port or airport

You must arrange this with your travel agent or transport company before your pet travels.

You must book an authorised quarantine carrier to transport your cat, dog or ferret if it arrives and leaves from a different port or airport. This is known as ‘transiting’. The carrier can apply for a transit licence on your behalf.

If your cat, dog or ferret can’t stay in a holding facility, or it will be in the country for more than 48 hours, you must do one of the following:

If your cat, dog or ferret fails pet travel checks

Your cat, dog or ferret will be checked when it travels. If it doesn’t meet the pet travel rules, you must choose one of the following:

  • put it in quarantine
  • return it to the country it travelled from
  • have it put down

You must pay any fees and charges, your journey could be delayed and you could be taken to court.

When to put your pet in quarantine

You must arrange for your pet to go in quarantine if one of the following applies:

  • it’s a cat, dog or ferret travelling from outside the UK and it doesn’t meet the pet travel rules
  • it’s a rabbit or rodent travelling from outside the EU
  • it’s a rabbit or rodent travelling from an EU country and it’s been living there for less than 4 months

Arrive at an approved port or airport

Your pet must arrive at one of the following ports or airports if you’re putting it in quarantine:

Ports

  • Calais Eurotunnel
  • Dover Eastern Docks
  • Harwich International Port
  • Hull
  • Portsmouth

Airports

  • Belfast International
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Glasgow Prestwick
  • Leeds Bradford
  • London Gatwick
  • London Heathrow
  • Manchester

Book a quarantine carrier and premises

You must book a quarantine carrier and premises that is authorised by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

The carrier will meet your pet at the port or airport, get permission for it to enter the country, and transport it to the quarantine premises.

You must not transport your pet to the quarantine premises yourself.

You must arrange for your pet to be collected by a carrier at Eurotunnel Calais if it will arrive in England at Eurotunnel Folkestone.

Get a landing licence and boarding document

After you’ve booked a quarantine carrier and premises, you must ask the premises for an ‘Application for a Licence to Land an Animal for Detention in Quarantine’ form. You must fill in part A, then send the form to the quarantine premises.

The quarantine premises or APHA will send you or your representative a landing licence, boarding document and rabies cargo sticker, which you must show to the transport company when your pet travels.

Cost of quarantine

The cost of quarantine depends on the carrier and premises you choose.

You’re responsible for paying all quarantine costs.

Release from quarantine

Your cat, dog or ferret can only be released from quarantine when one of the following applies:

  • it meets the pet travel rules
  • it’s been in quarantine for 4 months
  • you’re sending it back to the country it travelled from

Your rabbit or rodent can only be released when it’s been in quarantine for 4 months.

The vet at the quarantine premises will decide when your pet can be released, and they’ll apply to APHA.

Your pet may be kept in quarantine longer if one of the following applies:

  • there’s an outbreak of rabies at the facility
  • your pet shares accommodation with a pet that dies and rabies has not been ruled out

You must pay for the extended quarantine period.

Illness or death in quarantine

The quarantine premises will tell you if your pet becomes ill in quarantine. You must pay for any medication that your pet needs.

If your pet dies in quarantine, the quarantine premises will send it to APHA for rabies testing. APHA will tell you how they will dispose of the body.