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Topic: PETS Process In Detail  (Read 14381 times)

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PETS Process In Detail
« on: June 28, 2010, 01:31:13 PM »
(Note: Some of the following info, especially the rabies bloodwork, applies only to US-based PETS procedures.)

First off, a few links:
DEFRA's Main PETS Page
DEFRA's Factsheet for Non-European Countries
Non-EU Travel Routes
Kansas State Rabies Lab

Next up, the documents:
FAVN Form for Rabies Bloodwork
DEFRA's Long (6pg) EC 998 Form
DEFRA's Short (2pg) EC 998 Form (Preferred)

The process:
- First up, make sure that you vet is USDA approved. Most vets are, but just call your state's USDA office to check.
- Next, you may want to check with the airlines (as listed on DEFRA's approved routes list) to see if they have any restrictions for the date(s) you wish to travel. Some airlines refuse to fly animals in extreme cold or heat, for example, which may alter your plans.
- A note on costs: you will need to check with your vet and the airlines for quotes on this process. Prices vary by location, time of year (for airlines), size of the pet, size of the carriers, etc.



1. Take your pet to the vet and verify that they are microchipped. Ideally, they should have an ISO standard chip (International Standards Organisation Standard microchips meeting specifications 11784 or Annex A of ISO Standard 11785). According to DEFRA
Quote
If the microchip does not meet either of these ISO Standards, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the microchip can be read upon entry to the UK. This may mean that you will need to provide a microchip reader (at your expense) to allow the chip to be read. Some ports of entry may have equipment capable of reading other types of microchip and you should check this with them before you travel.

Note: I can't speak for other airports, but the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow has scanners that will handle US-formatted microchips.
Note: The Pet Travel Store rents scanners.



2. After you've verified presence/type of microchip as well as its number, get your pet vaccinated for rabies.
Option A: microchip already present prior to vet visit + pet has current vaccine - can opt to skip re-vaccination if you can prove that the microchip was put in before the current vaccine was given, and move on to stop 3.
Option B: microchip already present prior to vet visit + pet vaccinated for rabies before microchip - you will have to re-vaccinate your pet, as the microchip must be put in first before the vaccine.
Option C: no microchip + pet has current vaccine - you must microchip your pet and then re-vaccinate.
Option D: no microchip + no current vaccine - you must microchip your pet and then vaccinate

DEFRA does not care if you do a 1-year or 3-year vaccine, but it must be an inactive rabies vaccine.

Some important notes:
- Make sure your vet lists the pet's microchip number on the rabies vaccine
- Make sure the following information is entered on your EC 998 form:
  • pet date of birth/age
  • the microchip number, date of insertion and location of the microchip on the animal
  • the date of vaccination
  • the vaccine product name
  • the batch number
  • the date its booster vaccination is due (calculated by reference to the vaccine manufacturer's data sheet)


3. Get blood drawn to send to KS for testing.
If your pet was already current on vaccine (Options A, B, or C from step 2), you may be able to do the bloodwork the same day as the microchip/rabies shot. Check with your vet for their opinion, however. For what it's worth, my pets were vaccinated in November 2008 with a 3-year vaccine, re-vaccinated again in May 2009 with a 1-year vaccine to start PETS, and were well over the minimum requirement when the blood was drawn 12 days later.

Most vets recommend a 21 day wait between initial vaccine (Option D from step 2) and bloodwork, to allow the antibodies to sufficiently build up in the animal.

Your vet should send off the FAVN form (make sure it is filled out completely!) and the bloodwork. Most likely, you will not hear back from KS directly, but your vet should get a faxed copy of the results as well as the physical results sheet itself.

KS Rabies Lab reports a 3 week processing time for the rabies test, which means you should get the results from your vet in about a month.

KS State has a form to lookup test results by microchip, but it seems hit-or-miss when they enter info (if at all).

Important note: Make sure that you get the physical results sheet - it will look like a photocopy, but will have a sticker on it with the results. That sticker proves that it is not a fake copy and is, in fact, the original document returned by KS. You will need this to turn into the USDA vet/DEFRA folks.

Another important note: The day you do the blood draw is the day your pet's 6-month countdown begins (provided the bloodwork passes). It does not matter what day you get the bloodwork results back, this has nothing to do with when your pet can travel. Provided your pet's results pass, s/he can travel to the UK 6 calendar months (not 183 days) after the blood draw was performed.

You can have your vet finish their part (sections I-V) at this point. They will need to enter in all the information about the previous steps, and verify that the bloodwork tests came back positive. Make sure your vet uses the correct date format - the date they fill in for when the bloodwork was done needs to be in European (DD/MM/YYYY) format.



4. Wait at least 2 months (from blood draw date), and then get the EC 998 Form endorsed by your state USDA vet.
You must wait at least 2 months because the EC 998 form, once signed by the USDA vet, gives your pet a 4-month window in which to travel. If you get that form filled out a week after the blood work, it will expire several weeks before the 6-month quarantine is complete. General rule of thumb is to get your form done no earlier than 2 months before your planned travel date, as that gives you 2 months in either direction to adjust travel plans as necessary.

By now you should have both vet signatures completed (your vet on page 1 below section V, USDA vet on page 2 above section VI).



5. Book your pet's travel.
Check with the airlines (as listed on DEFRA's approved routes) for their requirements. Some airlines won't let you book pet travel until 14 days pre-flight, others want you to book them as soon as you book your reservation (if you're flying with your pet). Also, verify what extra documentation the airline might need in order to accept your pets. Some require the APHIS 7001 health form, others just want a letter from your vet saying your pet is healthy, etc.



6. 24-48 hours pre-check-in, visit your vet again for tick/tapeworm treatment.
You will need to get your pet treated against ticks and tapeworms 24-48 hours before check-in for the flight. (Check with the airline to see when they would like your pet, most want them ~4 hours before take-off.)

Important note: DEFRA has very specific requirements for the treatments:
Quote
Your pet must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis using a veterinary medicine whose active ingredient is praziquantel.

The tick treatment must be licensed for use against ticks and have a marketing authorisation in the country of use - Please note some treatments may not be applicable to both cats and dogs (or ferrets) and this should be checked with your vet. A collar impregnated with acaricide is not an acceptable form of treatment against ticks.

At this point your EC 998 Form should be complete (sections I-VII and both signatures). If necessary, also get your vet to fill out any additional health forms for the airlines so that they know your pet is healthy enough to fly.



7. Check your pet in, and travel.
Pretty straight-forward, make sure you follow the airline's requirements for carrier size, check-in and travel restrictions (food, water, etc.).

Once you land, you'll need to head to whatever area DEFRA has for holding/processing animals. They will check over all your paperwork, verify your pet's microchip identification, etc, and then release your pet to you to take home.

Final note: If you complete the 6-month process and you need to delay your pet's travel for some reason, you are fine to do that as long as their rabies vaccination record stays up-to-date. You may need to re-fill out/endorse your EC 998 form, as that only has a 4-month window, but you will not need to re-do all the bloodwork and the 6-month wait unless the rabies vaccination coverage has lapsed (i.e. it expired in February 2010 and you didn't get the pet re-vaccinated until May 2010).
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 10:31:14 AM by equestrianerd »
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 01:32:53 PM »
Some additional details from my experience...
- May 2009 - April 2010
- did all vetwork in NC
- 1 dog (60lbs) + 1 cat (13lbs)
- flew British Airways Washington Dulles -> London Heathrow

Carriers:
I flew my (normal sized) cat in a carrier that was 23x17x16in. I originally bought one size smaller (21x16x15in) but the airline required us to buy a bigger carrier at check-in.
I put my dog in a Giant (48x32x35in) crate, and he was fine. At Heathrow, there was no way I could fit the carrier in the car (or my flat!) so I left it with the Animal Reception Centre, who presumably had some use for it.

Costs:
1. Initial visit (kitty microchip + vaccine, dog vaccine): $134
2. Bloodwork to KS: $255
3. USDA signoff: $120
4. Tick/tapeworm vet visit: $100
6. Crates (purchased 1 for dog, 2 for cat): $300
5. Flight: $2,275

Total cost: $3,184

Pickup: (Heathrow Airport on Friday, April 9, 2010)
Pets' flight landed at 9:30am
Pets were at ARC by 10:15am
I got to ARC at 10:30am
Pets were handed off to me at 11:15am
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:38:56 PM by equestrianerd »
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 11:43:33 PM »
I think its really nice that you posted this. It is very confusing to read all this info online and you have made it much simpler to understand.

I would just like to add if you dont mind-cost of going on the QM2 is 300.00 per animal. Requirements are all the same as far as paperwork but carriers etc are not required. All animals will be in a kennel area with a kennel master. Everyone that I have spoken to rave about how well their animals were cared for. I leave on Nov 1st so am unable to give actual personal details yet. Please note that unlike the airlines the kennels are quite booked up and most are on a 1yr wait. I had to wait 7 months. The trip over is 7 to 8 days but you are allowed to visit your pets multiple times during the day. My total cost for two people and two dogs is roughly 2700.00 ( ship only ).


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 10:28:28 AM »
There is also the option to skip the insane cargo airline fees and go via France/Europe.

In a nutshell, you would have to:
- arrange a flight for yourself to another country that has a non-air approved route into the UK (ferry/train)
- find an airline willing to allow pets to be checked as baggage for that route (when I was looking into it, most airlines charged $100-350 per pet, though a lot of airlines refused to allow the size crate my dog needed)
- upon arrival by plane, arrange transport into the UK via a non-air route (otherwise you have to pay cargo airline fees anyway)

This could dramatically decrease the travel cost. I was looking into one-way flighs from DC to Paris for about $600, baggage fees for my pets would've been about $400, and train/ferry/train (to get from Paris to Calais, Calais to Dover, and Dover to London) would've been another $300 or so. By the time I knew when my pets would travel, though, airfare for me had jumped to $1,800+ so it was no longer feasible.

Bear in mind that you'd need to check into what health requirements the European country would require for your pets to arrive there, but I think most of them just want proof of microchip and rabies vaccination, which you have anyway.
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 01:08:31 PM »
Great up to date information.  I hope you don't mind that I "stickied" it!
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Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn. -Benjamin Franklin

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -D.Day


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 01:54:14 PM »
No, that's great, thanks. :)
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 04:30:15 PM »
Thanks so much for this.  It is EXTREMELY helpful.

Quick question-when you refer to the US formatted microchips in step 1, what are they?  My dog got an Avid microchip 4 years ago and it's only 9 digits long.  I was planning on renting a microchip scanner, but is this not necessary if I'm flying into Heathrow?


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 04:35:06 PM »
Quick question-when you refer to the US formatted microchips in step 1, what are they?  My dog got an Avid microchip 4 years ago and it's only 9 digits long.  I was planning on renting a microchip scanner, but is this not necessary if I'm flying into Heathrow?

The US formatted ones are 9-10 digits long, and the ISO ones are 15 (I think - the ISO ones are longer, anyway).

If you're flying into Heathrow you should be fine. My vet was also able to scan my pets' shorter microchips with her scanner, and she said most vets/shelters would be able to as well.
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 04:43:15 PM »
Avid has two kinds of chips.  One of which is AvidEuro and one is the North American one which produces chips with 9 digits.  The 9 digit ones are not ISO compatible, but as Equestrianerd said, staff at Heathrow should be able to read them.

xposted with E


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 03:09:55 PM »
I am moving my cat with me in October, so we're currently in our at-home quarantine process.  If you talk to your vet, they might have someone on board who specializes in pet relocation, which is how I was put in touch with my vet.

I'm in Chicago -- Bluhm Animal Hospital has staff members specifically trained in overseas relocation and I couldn't be more comfortable. 

Good luck!


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 03:46:49 AM »
Very interesting. I may have to make a quick move to the UK (perhaps a month). The cats are tagged and rabies is current. If I took them through Paris like your example, I could rent a car to transport them to the UK, or train. However, when it later becomes time to take the cats to the vet for come check or condition, I won't have the pet passport or evidence of blood test. Would that be an issue?

Thanks!

There is also the option to skip the insane cargo airline fees and go via France/Europe.

In a nutshell, you would have to:
- arrange a flight for yourself to another country that has a non-air approved route into the UK (ferry/train)
- find an airline willing to allow pets to be checked as baggage for that route (when I was looking into it, most airlines charged $100-350 per pet, though a lot of airlines refused to allow the size crate my dog needed)
- upon arrival by plane, arrange transport into the UK via a non-air route (otherwise you have to pay cargo airline fees anyway)

This could dramatically decrease the travel cost. I was looking into one-way flighs from DC to Paris for about $600, baggage fees for my pets would've been about $400, and train/ferry/train (to get from Paris to Calais, Calais to Dover, and Dover to London) would've been another $300 or so. By the time I knew when my pets would travel, though, airfare for me had jumped to $1,800+ so it was no longer feasible.

Bear in mind that you'd need to check into what health requirements the European country would require for your pets to arrive there, but I think most of them just want proof of microchip and rabies vaccination, which you have anyway.


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 07:27:03 AM »
Thank you! This is all really helpful!


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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 09:36:41 AM »
Very interesting. I may have to make a quick move to the UK (perhaps a month). The cats are tagged and rabies is current. If I took them through Paris like your example, I could rent a car to transport them to the UK, or train. However, when it later becomes time to take the cats to the vet for come check or condition, I won't have the pet passport or evidence of blood test. Would that be an issue?

Thanks!


The France option does not negate the need for the blood work.  This is not a loop-hole to get out of the PETS process.  You will not be able to drive your pet (or arrive by train) to the UK  without going through the steps above no matter where you are coming from (except Ireland).   Trying to do so will risk in your pet being quarrantined in the UK. 

From DEFRA's website:  To bring your dog or cat into the UK under PETS from one of the listed countries you must have it first microchipped, then vaccinated against rabies and then blood tested. There are no exceptions to this order of preparation apart from the exemption explained in the next sentence. If your pet is resident in certain countries these procedures may be done in a different order.

There are no requirements for pets travelling directly between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.



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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 11:35:18 AM »
The only thing the France option does is negate the need to fly your pets as cargo out of the US (which can be much more expensive than flying them as "excess baggage").

As Mirrajay said, you still have to complete all the pre-travel steps of the PETS process. In order for it to work as you described, you'd need to get a pet passport in France before going to the UK...which requires all the pre-travel steps of the PETS process anyway.
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Re: PETS Process In Detail
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 04:49:03 PM »
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/


Here is a link for USDA-APHIS that will provide people with information regarding their state's USDA Vet. 

I recommend calling your area's USDA Vet Office and inquiring about the certification's cost as it can vary.
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