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Shipping Pets to the UK from the USA

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Steps for shipping your pet from the United States to the United Kingdom

NOTE: Before you do ANY of the following, you must get your pet microchipped so that all records can be linked with your pet

  1. Get the rabies vacination.
  2. Wait about 4 weeks and have your Vet draw blood and send to the Kansas Lab for results.
  3. Once you get the results of the titer test wait 6 months.
  4. Have the certificate endorsed by the USDA (Federal) Vet ....this is not the same thing as a USDA Certified Vet. A lot of Vets are USDA certified but the Federal Vet works for the USDA......once the certificate is endorsed it's good for 4 months....if you don't leave the country in that time frame, the Federal Vet must endorse a new certificate. Make sure you do not let your rabies vaccination expire. Get it renewed at least a month before it is due to expire.
  5. Once you are ready to fly and have your date booked, get a Health Certificate to fly your pet out of the country. It must be issued within 10 days of travel. This is not the same certificate as the UK Pet Travel Scheme one. This is the certificate required by the airline to fly any animal in the US anywhere. This certificate may say that the Federal Vet needs to endorse it as well and British Cargo incorrectly advised us it must be endorsed by the Federal Vet, but the USDA tells us it is not required..........I had the Federal Vet endrorse it anyway (on the day we flew out no less) because after all the wrong advice we got from our Vet and maybe inadvertantly BA Cargo, I no longer trusted anyone to know what they were talking about.
  6. Between 24 and 48 hours of travel, have your Vet give the dog the tick and tapeworm treatment. Make sure to read the DEFRA requirements for the proper drug that must be used. Make sure your vet completes the Pet Travel certificate regarding the tick/tapeworm treatment.
  7. BA requires that you arrive at cargo with your pet at least 4 hours before flying. .........when you count that extra time, the length of the flight and the time it takes to pet to clear customs, you are probably going to have a somewhat soiled and smelly dog on your hands when you collect her/him. BA was great at Gatwick for helping us to clean our dog Scout up and provided loads of blankets for her to rest on in the car. Our dog messed her crate 5 minutes before we picked her up. If British Customs had been a bit more speedy and hadn't taken 4 hours to clear her we would have been fine. DEFRA cleared her almost immediately, but Customs took their time.

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