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Travelling to the UK with a pet, impossible?

While I do understand how important the subject is, and that England would like to remain rabies free, it seems like both travelers and the pets are punished. Has anyone ever done this before without all the costs? maybe in a car? or a train? I refuse to let the pet cargo people do it. pection Fee of about $100.00, A handler/agent that takes your pet from the airline to the DEFRA animal reception facility will charge a fee of about $150.00, DEFRA imposes a fee for their services at the animal reception center of about $330.00. For what?

Posted by
28107 posts

Sorry, Ido, is there a question in there or is your post just a rant? People import pets all the time, they just have to follow the rules.

Posted by
4739 posts

It wasn't that long ago that a 6 month quarantine was required to bring a pet into rabies-free countries like the UK and Sweden. One can imagine how unfriendly to pets and expensive that would have been. It sure sounds like it is very possible to bring your pet in now, but of course the UK has to cover the cost of its inspection program.

Posted by
19 posts

Nigel, My question was whether anyone has ever brought a pet avoiding all the costs.

Posted by
19 posts

We completed all the test our dog required only to discover that even though she is clearly not only healthy, but even if she gets bitten by a dog, will of course be strong enough to fight a virus, she would have to wait 3 months before she enters the UK. None of the vets I've spoken to understood why, and most of them said that if she was infected, it would take less than 10 days to notice. 3 months? Obviously if we wanted to take her right away, quarantine facilities in England jumped on the opportunity to make quick money and quoted us thousands of pounds for all kinds of services we wouldn't even require. once we completed the 3 months wait planning everything, we tried booking our flight only to discover again that now the UK does not accept a pet on board (50 euro or less) and the pet would have to be shipped in cargo, which is about 4 times more expensive of course, not to include the charges on the uk side which are apparently EU Border Inspection Fee of about $100.00, A handler/agent that takes your pet from the airline to the DEFRA animal reception facility will charge a fee of about $150.00, DEFRA imposes a fee for their services at the animal reception center of about $330.00. For what? The animal is clearly healthy and that according to what they wanted. What's the point of going through all these tests if they're going to test her anyone? what exactly do they do for $330??????? I paid only $70 for the test itself. It seems like its DERFA feeds on these situations knowing people will be forced to pay while in fact, the pet itself has to go through the nightmare of being tested again, shipped in a box, taken from it's owner. it is all unnecessary and unreasonably expensive.

Posted by
124 posts

Liz Taylor brought her dogs, I believe, by staying on the Thames with them in a yacht and not bringing them onto land. This could be expensive, though.

Posted by
4739 posts

Ido, if flying is not reasonable then check the ferries from France and see what their process is (although I'd suspect fees are the same). When the UK first started allowing pets in, the ferries were the first option. However, I have no idea what the rules are for flights into other EU countries. I don't believe the train (Eurostar) allows pets. I have friends who had to leave their dog in the States with a friend when they moved to the UK 10 years ago. At least people now have an option.

Posted by
19 posts

Even she refused to pay. It seems like the UK is so scared of rabies they just add and add more procedures forgetting to consider if it actually makes sense. What's with all the tests? and a 3 month quarantine ? I didn't know it was healthy for a pet to do a 6 or 3 month prison time. Most vets I've spoken to agreed that 10 days should be enough anyway. And the worst thing is, this is all bunch of overly expensive documents that would "prove" the pet is healthy, but there's so many loopholes. While I'd rather not taking the risk and of course follow the laws. I can see why people would, when its relatively so easy. So what's the point anyway. If it was cheap and simple, people wouldn't even consider looking for other ways. Just got an offer from this British Cargo "approved" agency who quoted 650 Euro for the delivery, 243 Euro for the shipment (Don't know what the difference is). 480 Euro for local custom clearance in England, and insisted on doing the dogs papers again for me (although I have them already) And this is where BA told me to call.

Posted by
28107 posts

Don't forget the pet passport and the microchip.

Posted by
19 posts

Like I said, she's gone through that nightmare already ;)

Posted by
6465 posts

Lord knows I love my dog and two cats but none travel with me if I fly somewhere. They are pets, not accessories. Is your dog a service dog? Are you going to the UK to live or just on vacation? I'm more interested in hearing what the air carrier is going to charge you as I assume you'll insist on having the dog next to you on the plane. Going to be much more than $330. Try contacting Kevin Spacey. He flies first class with his dog to and from London on British Air.

Posted by
19 posts

Claudia. Be sure I care for my dog at least as much as you do. I am going to be staying in the UK for a while. Meaning, this is not a holiday. As for the airline, you'll be surprised to know that carrying a pet on board is in fact at least 4 times cheaper than shipping it. BA doesn't take pets on board because the UK does not allow them to, however, there are many airlines that do, and it costs as much as it would cost for a little excess baggage depending on the dog's weight

Posted by
8293 posts

Air Canada allows a dog to travel with the owner in the cabin. You can also arrange to go to the UK on the QM2 with a dog.

Posted by
11292 posts

My sister has lived abroad in India, Bosnia, and Russia, and has brought her dogs from the US to all these places. You can imagine the stories she has. BTW, she flew the dogs several times on Lufthansa through Frankfurt, and had very good experiences this way (the airport staff was quite good with them and understood that they were living things, not just cages to be carried). I know at least once she went through Paris to Mumbai, and this also went well. Flying Delta nonstop from the US to Moscow, which at first seemed better and easier than connecting in Frankfurt, turned out to be much more hassle. Yes, she had to pay all kinds of extra fees, and she also had to be sure to get reservations early, as the planes had limits on how many dogs they would carry per flight. Since she had two dogs, she didn't want them separated. They were too big to go in the cabin, but she wanted them on her flight as "baggage" rather than "cargo." In addition to all sorts of other issues, the cargo pickup in an airport is often no where near the passenger terminal (one issue in Moscow). She categorically refused to apply for jobs in England because of the pet restrictions. Ido, unfortunately, your anger will not change anything. You either have to go to another country, or follow the British rules. You should know that ALL pet owners are upset, and that includes British ones (Rupert Everett is another celebrity who has said he cannot move back to England, because it would mean leaving his dogs behind). Is it basically a "scam" for British kennels to make a fortune? That's my sister's take on it. But again, ranting here won't change that.

Posted by
2664 posts

This is from the UK's goverment website.......http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/ Pet travel rules changed on 1 January 2012 when the UK brought its procedures into line with the European Union. From this 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. There are 6 steps that needs to be taken.... Step 1.....get pet microchipped Step 2.....get pet vaccinated after microchipped Step 3.....get blood test..30 days after vaccinated has to be done three months before travel Step 4.....get documentation Step 5.....get tapeworm treatmet
Step 6.....arrange for your pet to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route...(I looked at this list and most of the Airlines were listed...didn't see United listed)

Posted by
137 posts

Keep it simple and do not burden other travelers with your animal. LEAVE YOUR ANIMALS AT HOME! I find nothing worse on a vacation than Americans who drag their animals along with them on a vacation.

Posted by
19 posts

Steve, It's not an "animal". It's a dog. and it's NOT going on a holiday. I'm going actually move. Is that good enough for you ?

Posted by
8293 posts

I live in Canada where a dog is an animal. So is a cat. Sorry.

Posted by
137 posts

Ido,
Last I checked dogs are still considered an animal, not human. I didn't see in your requests that you were moving and not just traveling on holiday.

Posted by
19 posts

Steven, I suggest you read again. I posted this message to ask for a friendly advise, not to be lectured on whether it is right or wrong to take your pet with you, specially when it can sit right next to you on a plane instead of missing you not knowing if you ever come back. Last time I left my dog at a friend's house she refused to get near me for weeks. Besides, I was looking to do it the easy way rather than have it go through the trauma of getting shipped in a box, quarantine, and so on. If travelling with your pet was easier people would have consider it. Besides, I may have found a way - I called DERFA who actually recommended I save my money and trouble and fly to France and take the train. Its less expensive and I can take the pet with me..

Posted by
9363 posts

Ido, the first time you mentioned moving was right before Steve said that you hadn't mentioned moving in your original post (or the several after that). You didn't mention anything about the length of your trip in your original post. No need to be curt with Steve.

Posted by
12 posts

Ido, you need to really research bringing your dog in through France and then transporting him on the train to the UK. We recently moved to the UK with our dog and looked into this option. We discovered that we would still have to take the dog to the vet and get a "pet passport" for him to travel to the UK. Plus some of the countries do not honor the vaccines and tests the US does, so those would need to be redone along with the 3 month quarantine time. If you do go this route, you also need to look at authorized ways to bring your dog into the UK. The UK is very specific about how an animal can be brought into the country and will refuse the animal if not done correctly. We moved to the UK a little over a year ago and moved our dog in October after we moved. We did all of this on the old process so the new process may have changed some. Like you, we did not like the process and the fees either but our dog is part of our family and we didn't want to leave him behind. He was worth the time and money and was not traumatized by the experience. Hope this helps and good luck with your move!

Posted by
2845 posts

What this rant by Steve about Americans "dragging" their pets along on vacation??? Most of the vacationing dogs we see in Europe are with their Swiss, French, or German owners. It is very common to see them in Switzerland on the trains, cable cars, even chair lifts. Also in restaurants. They look very happy and not being " dragged" at all. And Ido said she was going for an extended period hours before that comment was made.

Posted by
31 posts

I just wanted to add another perspective here. I am SEVERELY allergic to dogs and cats. If I am around either one my eyes start to itch, then my nose gets stuffy and soon my eyes are so swollen I can barely see, 90 percent of the time this will also trigger a migraine headache (which comes with other fun side effects like vomiting). Usually I get away at the first signs of an allergic reaction but if I'm on an airplane and the person behind me has a dog in her lap or the guy 10 rows up has a cat, where can I go?? I'm stuck and the recycled air is just moving it around the cabin faster. You don't want you or your dog to be "punished" but what about those of us that have allergies? We don't want to be punished either.
I'll get off my soapbox now:) Good luck.

Posted by
19 posts

Dear Karen, I was sad to read about your condition and I think you're 100% right. We do have to respect each other on board and anywhere else, and in your situation, its actually easy. Bringing a pet on board requires confirmation which means the airlines checks that are no more than a maximum number of pets on board and maybe people who are allergic to dogs too. I would let the airline know what my condition is so they can make sure you're not on the same plane :)

Posted by
128 posts

I am also allergic to cats and dogs. 1. I have NEVER had an airline ask me about allergies. 2. I was on a flight with a pet on board; several rows ahead of me. The dog was in a carrier that fit under the seat. It was not on the seat next to its owner and I was fine while the dog stayed there in the carrier. 3.However, during the flight the owner took the dog out of the carrier and stood in the aisle with it in his arms. My symptons started up and I signaled the flight attendant who petted the cute little dog then directed the dog back into the carrier and the carrier back under the seat. Asthma attack and medical emergency averted. Also, can you imagine the chaos if the dog slipped from his arms and ran around the cabin?

Posted by
2349 posts

There is a benefit to all of this. No rabies on Britain. I know someone who was sitting on a bench in the middle of London and was bitten by a fox. She had the bite treated but didn't need to worry about rabies shots. Whatever Britain has done for years to keep rabies at bay has worked. Please, I really mean no analogy to the TSA!

Posted by
14 posts

I just got back from the UK with my puppy. It was fantastic! I live in Sweden, so I flew to Brussels, took the train to Calais and then the ferry. As of May 2012, P&O will take dogs with footpassengers - I would highly suggest you take one of the smaller ferries, rather than their bigger ones (I was on Pride of Canterbury). It's really not a big deal at all. The downside is that they have to stay in a dog kennel on the car deck, but it's only an hour and a half. I think P&O charged about 15 pounds for Fritz. No Defra fees.

Posted by
19 posts

: I was able to check in with Miley, (my dog) very easily. The airline people wanted to see her documents and let her up even though she turned up a little more heavy. In fact, they helped me carry her and made sure she was OK during the flight. They gave us a seat in the back to make sure we're away from any passengers who may have allergies although almost everyone on board wanted to see her. After I landed in Paris, I walked easily through the passport check - had no questions asked. I went on and walked through customs, and had to actually asked someone if they wanted to at least look at my documents since I've gone through all this trouble. I was almost disappointed to have no one check her. I eventually convinced an officer to take a look at a document he clearly couldn't read very well (he didn't speak much English) We then took the subway to Paris and a train Calais. Unlike what someone here had to say, people at least in Paris take their dogs everywhere, on the train, at the restaurants, I had to stay at a hotel overnight where Miley was very welcomed. We then got to Calais where we were planning to take the Eurotunnel. Pets have to check in before we get on the train. We walked into the pet office, where Miley's documents were checked only to hear that although I know I've done everything according to the rules, and made sure it is all OK in a phone call with DERFA, Miley's documents are incorrect and that she wouldn't be able to cross. The lady at the desk claimed a vet certified tapeworm vaccination was not enough and that it had to be approved by the local authorities. Additionally, her English was clearly not strong enough to explain or maybe understand what was needed. However, we went on and tried the Ferry where we were welcomed, Miley's documents were finally approved and a few hours later, we boarded on the ferry.

Posted by
31 posts

Ido,
Glad to hear that everything worked out and you and Miley are safe and sound in the UK.

Posted by
6465 posts

Curious how much all of this cost you AND why you assume that English would a European's first language choice.