With the Summer Olympics taking place in London from July 27 to August 12, now is a good time to remind pet parents that the quarantine that kept many of us from traveling to the United Kingdom with dogs and cats is no longer in effect. Taking a pet to London can be a breeze.
Taking a pet to London used to be unheard of because of the quarantine designed to keep rabies out of the UK. Remember when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton famously rented an 120-foot yacht at a cost of $2,400 a week, or what would amount to $15,790 a week based on inflation, to house their four pooches because taking a pet to London was nearly impossible? The couple wanted to get around the United Kingdom’s six-month quarantine while Burton was shooting a movie near London. From the Gettysburg Times on February 17, 1968:
Taking a pet to London
Today, jetsetters taking their pet to London during the Olympics or any other time no longer have to shell out those kind of bucks to be near their pampered pooch, fine feline or fabulous ferret while in London or any other part of the United Kingdom.
Taking a pet to London became easier when the United Kingdom Pet Entry Regulations changed on January 1, 2012. At that time, the UK brought its procedures into line with the European Union. From that date all pets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.
Many dog lovers were excited to hear about Britain’s PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) Program. This program permits qualifying countries to allow people traveling with dogs to avoid the lengthy six-month U.K. pet quarantine.
Now a pet owner can follow a check list of requirements in order to bring their pooch with them to the U.K. However, there are still several drawbacks to this program regarding taking a pet to London. If any of the requirements in the PETS program are not followed, your dog will still be placed into quarantine, with a petition for early release. All dogs must enter into England via cargo on an airplane (an airplane’s cargo section can be potentially dangerous for dogs). Dogs also cannot arrive via private plane or boat.
And if you own a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dog Argentino, or a Filo Braziliero, do not even think of coming to England. These breeds are considered “dangerous dogs” by the UK and might be seized and destroyed. For full details or before you travel, you will need to visit Defra’s website (official website for PETS) for United Kingdom Pet Entry Regulations.
For more about bringing a pet into the United Kingdom or taking a pet to London, click here.