With companies like AFerry offering return trips from Dover to Calais for as little as £75 and Eurotunnel charging as little as £39 each way more and more people are opting to drive to their holiday in Europe with their pets also on board.
Over the last 6 months ALStrays, a re-homing and transport project based in Southern Spain, have transported over 120 cats and dogs from Spain to the UK.
With two transports a month were ideally placed to conduct some exclusive research for Central Contracts into the most popular vehicles used when taking pets on holiday with you.
By category the top five were:
3. People Carrier
4. Saloon Car
5. Van/Car Combination
The Top 5 vehicles were:
Demographically the age range was dominated by the over 50′s, reflecting no doubt those least affected by the ongoing financial crisis, being the age range most likely to be at the peak of their earning potential, with the lowest monthly outgoings on mortgages and other debts.
The vast majority observed had just the one pet, with the significant majority being dogs. The first observation is somewhat surprising given the propensity for pet owners to own more than one, while the second observation was to be expected as taking your cat on holiday is not exactly an established activity.
At the risk of upsetting the ‘PC Brigade’ it was pretty rare to see a male handling the paperwork. They seemed to have been designated the task of handling the dog and checking the microchip.
Overwhelmingly the preferred holiday destination was France, followed by Belgium and then Spain.
It appears that taking your pet abroad is a ‘typically British’ pastime with over 75% of cars observed in the Pet Passport Car Park being registered to Great Britain.
Taking Your Pet Abroad
DEFRA have very specific rules for bringing pets back into the UK since 1 January 2012.
It is important to note that all procedures, including administration of tapeworm treatment, must be carried out by a registered vet and recorded in the pet passport or third country health certificate.
In Summary the current information is:
1. Is it micro chipped?
2. Is it currently vaccinated against rabies?
3. Has it been treated for Tapeworm?
Was it vaccinated after it was micro chipped and was the rabies vaccination administered as per the vaccine manufacturers data sheet?
Have you got an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate from your vet certifying the microchip and vaccination?
Have at least 21 days passed since it was vaccinated?
Has a vet treated your dog for tapeworm 1-5 days before its arrival in the UK and recorded the treatment (with exact times) in the passport or Official Health Certificate?
Remember to check that the date AND time are entered into the passport! This applies to expiration of rabies treatment AND tapeworm!
According to Chris Marshall of ALStrays (www.alstrays.com/transport) over 25% of the passports they receive have some kind of error, with the most frequent ones being:
1. Name of pet not entered on the front page.
2. Rabbies vaccination expiry date not filled in.
3. Time of Tapeworm treatment not filled in.
4. Tapeworm treatment administered less that 24 hours before departure back to UK.
5. Rabbies vaccination not within the 21 day time period.
“We travel from France to the UK twice a month with rescue cats and dogs being re-homed from Spain and I have yet to go through Passport Control in Calais without observing a distressed holiday maker returning to the UK, but being frustrated by a problem with a passport. A problem, it has to be said could be avoided by understanding the requirements in the first place and taking care to check them when the vet is completing them.”
When considering your holiday abroad with your pet don’t forget to get them insured. Saga offer peace of mind from as little as £3.41 a month for cats and £5.93 a month for dogs.
Typically a policy should cover you and your pet for: Vet Fees, Third Party Liability, Holiday Cancellation, Boarding Kennel Fees, Travel Allowance, Advertising and Reward Costs, Death due to Illness or Injury, Loss by Theft or Straying, and Accidental Damage your Pet does to your Property.
With more people than ever opting for self catering holidays protecting against damage to the rental properties seems an extremely sensible thing to do!