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Transporting pets through Heathrow

Transporting pets through Heathrow

Old Jun 7th 2011, 7:41 pm
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Default Transporting pets through Heathrow

I will be bringing two cats with me from the US when I move back to the UK in October or November. They will both have their "passports" so will not need quarantine. I'm considering using a pet transport company to help me with all the paperwork, bureaucracy, delivery to and from the airports, etc. but these companies know how much we love our animals and charge a [furry] arm and a leg for their services. Has anyone done it themselves? If so, what are the pitfalls that might make a pet transport company worthwhile? Can it really take 4-5 hours for the pets to be processed at Heathrow? All and any advice welcomed. Thanks!
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Old Jun 7th 2011, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

I don't believe there is really a huge financial advantage to doing this yourself. All animals have to enter the UK via Cargo, so it's gonna sting a little. Defra then rifle your pockets. And yes, it can take a good few hours for pets to be processed at the UK border.

If you pick a good pet transport company they're worth their adminstrative charge. They know the system well and know which paperwork needs to be completed.
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

Originally Posted by CarolPat View Post
I will be bringing two cats with me from the US when I move back to the UK in October or November. They will both have their "passports" so will not need quarantine. I'm considering using a pet transport company to help me with all the paperwork, bureaucracy, delivery to and from the airports, etc. but these companies know how much we love our animals and charge a [furry] arm and a leg for their services. Has anyone done it themselves? If so, what are the pitfalls that might make a pet transport company worthwhile? Can it really take 4-5 hours for the pets to be processed at Heathrow? All and any advice welcomed. Thanks!
Just received a quote from Pet Movers for 2 dogs (including air fare, custom clearance, will help you and your vet with paperwork, meet you at the airport leaving and landing at, etc) and it was $4,995.00 US dollars. Think I will do it myself. Has to be cheaper than this. May I ask you about your experience with getting them their passports? I will be starting this ordeal and any information you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. Where are you coming from by the way? Thanks
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

My quote is for $3,600 for two cats from Atlanta to LHR. I started the process two years ago when I retired and expected to be moving back to the UK but it can take as little as 6 months. The animals must have chips and they have to have a blood test called a titer test to show they have rabies immunity. That test cost me $257 for each cat! You have to wait at least 6 months after the test and you must keep up with the annual rabies treatment and have their chips scanned and recorded each time on a special form that you can download. Within the four months before actually transporting the animals back to the UK you start the main paperwork ordeal, which generates what I call the "passport". This site is a pretty good primer www.wikihow.com/Ship-a-Pet-to-the-UK I've decided to use the pet transport company, despite the cost, to keep my sanity. There are so many things to do with the move back, I need all the help I can afford! Good luck!
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 6:14 am
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

I have been researching how to bring our cats with us. We have not even considered using a pet transport company, and I guess I really don't understand the advantage of using one. Once you research it, the entire process to bring your pet into the UK isn't that difficult. I have found loads of info here: http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=60.0. That forum is geared for US citizens moving to the UK (as opposed to returning Brits), but the info is the same regardless. There's also good advice about how to ship them.

Depending on who you fly with, you may only need an agent to transport your pets from the airplane to the Animal Reception Centre - and I think some carriers won't give you a choice of agents. Entering the UK from the US is not really that complicated compared to the likes of Australia, etc.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

Originally Posted by CarolPat View Post
I will be bringing two cats with me from the US when I move back to the UK in October or November. They will both have their "passports" so will not need quarantine. I'm considering using a pet transport company to help me with all the paperwork, bureaucracy, delivery to and from the airports, etc. but these companies know how much we love our animals and charge a [furry] arm and a leg for their services. Has anyone done it themselves? If so, what are the pitfalls that might make a pet transport company worthwhile? Can it really take 4-5 hours for the pets to be processed at Heathrow? All and any advice welcomed. Thanks!
HI CarolPat
If you go onto the DEFRA website there is a list of pet carriers, i am also returning to the UK in Oct with 2 cats and 2 dogs and i am using Ladyhaye. I found their pricing to be very reasonable
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

I just started seriously looking into what we need for our cat - I'm leaving out of Atlanta to Heathrow - and wow. I guess what shocked me the most was when I called the Delta cargo company and they said it was going to cost $680 to transport my tiny 15 lbs. cat but they REALLY floored me when they told me the UK charges $740 for a import/handling fee. 0.0

He's still coming but good God! I thought about a pet transport company but I looked at it the same way I did doing our own visa next year - if you do your research and find out what you need, it's cheaper to do it yourself. I am.
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Transporting pets through Heathrow

Wow! I had no idea it was that difficult! We moved our cat here to the US in 2007 (through Heathrow) and it was super easy!

I'm planning on moving my dog back in a year or two, guess I need to start planning that now! At least there isn't the 6 month quarantine anymore, that was so sad.
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