Pet cats, dogs and ferrets - Going to France on a temporary basis

If you want to travel with your pet in France and come back to the United-Kingdom with it after your travel, you have to follow the “Pet Travel Scheme” (PETS). This scheme allows your animal to travel to the UK without going through quarantine. This programme only concerns cats and dogs that travel from and return to the UK (British Isles included).

There are some requirements for animals to be able to participate in PETS:

-  The animals have to come from eligible countries.
-  They have to travel to the UK by approved European routes and transport companies.
-  They have to be at least 3 months old before they can be prepared for PETS
-  They first have to be microchipped.
-  Then vaccinated against rabies.
-  Then successfully blood tested.
-  To be treated against ticks and worms (Echinococcosis) between 24 and 48 hours before the departure to the UK.
-  To be accompanied during travel by an official PETS certificate testifying that the pet meets all the requirements (identification and vaccination), with a separate official certificate confirming treatment against ticks and tape worms and a declaration of residency confirming that the animal has not stayed in a country non-eligible for the PETS scheme in the 6 months before travelling.

All these requirements are also compulsory for guide and hearing dogs.

A maximum of 5 animals may be imported to France (all species included) per owner per family with only one owner being allowed per family.

Please check if your dog is considered as a dangerous dog in France




Cats and dogs must be fitted with a microchip as a permanent record of identity. It is recommended that the microchip meets ISO standard 11 784 or Annex A to ISO Standard 11 785 and is implanted by a vet.

The implantation of the microchip has to be done before the vaccination against rabies (or a booster) and the serology.

The animal doesn’t meet all the requirements of the PETS if the vaccination against rabies and the serology are done before the microchipping.

The French inspectors have microchip readers in conformity with the standard microchips.

If the microchip does not meet either of these Standards, anyone who needs to read it may not be able to do so. In that case, you would have to provide your own microchip reader to enable the microchip number to be read successfully.


Please note that your animal has to be at least 3 months old to be vaccinated, and that vaccination is compulsary for your pet to enter into France.

The vaccination is done by a vet.

Make sure the vet records the following details on the pet’s vaccination record:

-  The date of birth/age of the animal
-  The microchip number
-  The date of vaccination
-  The date the booster vaccination is due
-  The batch number

To find a veterinary surgeon in the UK, please look at the website :


For advice on when the blood test should be carried out, the vet should refer to the manufacturer’s data sheet suppled with the rabies vaccine.

A blood test is necessary to make sure that the vaccine has given sufficient protection against rabies.

The results of the test are valid for the duration of the pet’s life provided the boosters are up to date.

If your pet fails its blood test it will be re-vaccinated and blood tested again.

If the booster is not done in the time, the procedure (vaccination and blood test) has to be done again.

During your travel to France, don’t forget to do the booster in France with a registered Veterinary Surgeon who has the “mandat sanitaire” (the veterinary surgeon who is authorised to give a certificate for the import/export of pets).

For the time between boosters, please be aware of manufacturers advice. Animals resident in France for longer than 3 months requie annual rabies vaccinations under French law.

To consult the list of the registered veterinary surgeons in France,please contact the “Direction des services veterinaires ” (department of veterinary services) of the “département” in which you are staying or at the town council or the “préfecture”.

Blood tests must be done in laboratories recognised by DEFRA. Please look at the DEFRA


Your animal has to be treated against ticks and echinococcosis by a French veterinary surgeon between 24 and 48 hours before the departure to return to the UK.

The product used for the treatment against ticks has to contain an acaricide e.g. (fipronil) and praziquantel against worms.

After the treatment the veterinary surgeon will issue a certificate (in both languages) for the treatment against parasites which is entitled “certificate of treatment against ectoparasites and endoparasites”.

To locate a French veterinary surgeon, please look at the French yellow pages at the following web address :

This treatment has to be done every time your pet enters the UK. Please talk to your veterinary surgeon about this.

THE PETS CERTIFICATE entitled “Pets Travel Scheme”

This certificate can only be issued by Gouvenment approuved vet or in the UK by a Local Veterinary Inspector .

It testifies to the identity of the pet, to the vaccination and to the good result of the blood test.

This certificate becomes valid for the pet to enter the UK 6 months from the date that a blood sample was taken which gave a successful test result. IT remains valid until the next booster

.After every booster the certificate can be renewed, provided the re-vaccination takes place on or before the expiry date on the PETS certificate.


This form has to be signed on the day of departure by the owner of the pet.

It testifies that the animal didn’t stay in a country that doesn’t take part in the PETS (see above the list of the countries eligible for the PETS) in the 6 months before the departure.

A form to fill in will be provided by the transport company before boarding.


The owner has to be in possession of all of the following paperwork:

-  The “Pets Travel Scheme” certificate
-  The certificate for the treatment against parasites
-  Declaration of residency

It is advisable to bring with you all the paperwork for the animal: identity paper, certificate of pedigree, vaccination record, blood test result, etc.

The transport company will check all this paperwork and the microchip of the pet with a microchip reader or your own appliance.

If all requirements are met, your animal can board. If this is not the case, one of the following will happen:

-  The animal has to do the necessary quarantine to entry into the UK either 6 months (or until the paperwork is in order with the procedure).
-  The animal must remain in its country of origin.
-  The animal is put down if it is not possible to put the animal into quarantine or return it to its country of origin.


As of 3rd of July 2004, some changes in legislation will come into force regarding the Pet Travel Scheme. Ferrets will be included in PETS like cats and dogs but the detailed requirements have not yet been finalised (Regulation valid for 8 years from the start date).

Published on 24/10/2013

top of the page