Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's rules on bringing pets into Great Britain, if he will make it his policy to require (a) a rabies blood test with a waiting time in line with the incubation period for that disease and (b) that (i) dogs and (ii) cats be treated for ticks prior to entry into the country.
We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering the United Kingdom on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules and all commercial imports of pets undergo 100% documentary checks, and this includes checking animal health records. All pets entering Great Britain must be vaccinated against rabies, with a minimum 21 day wait period, and all dogs entering the United Kingdom must be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (five days) before entry unless coming from tapeworm-free countries.
Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the United Kingdom for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, we strongly encourage pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling.
We remain aware of the concerns around non-endemic diseases and continue to monitor the disease situation carefully. Our future policy will be guided by risk assessment.