We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial cats, dogs and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes (every route other than Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies) under the pet travel rules undergo 100% documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers.
To enter Great Britain pets must have been implanted with a microchip or have a legible tattoo imprinted prior to 3 July 2011. A pet's identity is checked by ensuring that the microchip or tattoo details correspond to the details in the pet's documentation. Carriers can refer suspected non-compliances to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). APHA staff are highly trained to deal with intercepted shipments. We have no plans to introduce further visual checks.
APHA works collaboratively with Border Force and other operational partners at ports, airports and inland, sharing intelligence to enforce the pet travel rules, disrupt illegal imports, safeguard the welfare of animals and seize non-compliant animals.
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was reintroduced following the Queen's speech and will progress to Report stage in the commons as soon as parliamentary time allows. The Bill allows us to further protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.