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The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) and parasite protection for the travelling pet

02 March 2015
13 mins read
Volume 6 · Issue 2


Changes to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) has led to renewed interest in the scheme and concern surrounding pet travel. In addition to the new rules, the distribution of parasites not covered by the scheme are also changing and it is vital for veterinary professionals to keep up to date, not only with new legal requirements, but also the parasite prevention requirements of pets travelling abroad. Veterinary nurses play a vital role in giving pet travel advice, both in day-to-day interaction with clients and as part of organised travel clinics. This article discusses a practical approach both to the compulsory requirements of the scheme but also other parasite prevention that should be considered.

The words ‘pet travel’ can alarm even the most regulation savvy of veterinary professionals. Compliance with a seemingly ever changing set of rules, coupled with numerous ‘what if’ scenarios, makes protection and control for travelling pets a challenge. In 2012–2013, the Great Pet Travel Survey indicated that 28% of dog owners in the UK have travelled abroad with their pet (Morgan, 2014). Whether travelling abroad for holidays or competitions, moving overseas or taking long holidays of more than 1 month, the numbers of owners travelling abroad with their pets is likely to continue to rise with pet travel around Europe now easier than ever before. Despite complying with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) requirements, the Great Pet Travel Survey 2012–2013 revealed that 36% of dog owners travelling to at risk areas took no additional specific precautions against their pet contracting exotic parasitic diseases (Bristol University, 2013). Pet care advice is most commonly sought from veterinary professionals (PDSA, 2013) and it is important that veterinary practices are prepared when a client seeks pet travel advice.

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