To and from Guernsey

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Travelling to and from Guernsey with your dog

Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is for pet parents who wish to travel with their pet(s) or to relocate to Guernsey from another member state and do not intended to sell or transfer them to another owner. However, your dog doesn’t need a pet passport if you are travelling between Guernsey, the UK, Isle of Man or other Channel Islands.

You must have a valid pet passport to travel to another EU country which you can obtain from your vet. Your vet will complete your dog’s passport with you.

Your dog(s) must be accompanied by you (or their other owner, if applicable) who is named in your dog’s pet passport when travelling under the Pet Travel Scheme. If a dog travelling under the Pet Travel Scheme is not accompanied by their owner but is accompanied by an authorised person, the owner must complete a declaration for their pet’s movement with that authorised person.

Travelling between Guernsey, the UK, Isle of Man or other Channel Islands with a pet dog

Pet dogs can be imported into Guernsey directly from the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man without a Pet Passport.

If you are travelling on a private plane or boat, you must not visit a foreign port on the way to the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands.

Travelling between Guernsey and the Republic or Ireland with a pet dog

Pet dogs can be imported into the Bailiwick of Guernsey directly from the Republic of Ireland but they do require a valid Pet Passport. However there is no need for the dog(s) to travel on an approved route with an approved carrier and dogs do not require treatment for tape worms.

If you are travelling on a private plane or boat, you must not visit a foreign port on the way to the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands.

Entry to Guernsey from EU member states, territories or listed countries

For your dog to enter, you must be able to answer yes to all of the following:

  • Is your dog microchipped?
  • Is your dog currently vaccinated against rabies?
  • At the time of rabies vaccination, was your dog at least 12 weeks old?
  • Was your dog vaccinated after it was microchipped?
  • Do you have an EU Pet Passport or an Official Veterinary Health Certificate (OVHC) from your vet certifying the above? OVHCs are issued by non-EU countries only
  • Have 21 days passed since your dog was vaccinated?
  • Has your dog been treated by a vet for tapeworm one to five days before its scheduled arrival?
  • Is your dog travelling to Guernsey with an approved carrier?

If you’re travelling from to or from France, the only approved route for pets is via St. Malo and the only approved carrier is Condor Ferries.

Entry to Guernsey from unlisted countries

For your dog to enter, you must be able to answer yes to the following:

  • Is your dog microchipped?
  • Is your dog currently vaccinated against rabies?
  • Was your dog vaccinated after being microchipped?
  • At the time of rabies vaccination, was your dog at least 12 weeks old?
  • Was a blood sample taken at least 30 days after your dog was vaccinated?
  • Has your dog passed the blood test (your vet will tell you)?
  • Have you got an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate from your vet certifying the above?
  • Have three months passed since the date the blood sample was taken?
  • Has your dog been treated by a vet for tapeworm one to five days before its scheduled arrival?
  • Are you travelling into Guernsey with your dog on an approved carrier?

If your dog’s blood test was successful and it was issued with an EU Pet Passport before it left Guernsey or another EU country, the three months waiting period before coming back to Guernsey will not apply. All other rules still apply.

Remember, OVHCs are issued by non-EU countries only.

You can find a list of ‘listed and unlisted’ countries on the GOV.UK website.

Pet passports and other documents

For a pet to travel in an EU member state, your vet will issue you with a pet passport.

If you’re coming from outside the EU to Guernsey or another EU country, you will need:

  • A third-country official veterinary certificate if you don’t have a valid EU pet passport
  • To complete a declaration confirming you are not going to sell or re-home your dog
  • Original documents must travel with your dog
  • You can find the declaration form on the GOV.UK website
  • Tapeworm treatment (dogs only). A vet must treat your dog for tapeworm and record it in the pet passport before entering Guernsey. The treatment must have been given within 24 and 120 hours (five days) before you enter Guernsey. However, you don’t need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to Guernsey from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

Ticks and other diseases

Dog owners travelling abroad with their dog(s) should discuss disease prevention with their vet. There are a number of options, such as spot-on treatments, collars and chews.

Dog breeds not allowed in Guernsey

It’s illegal to import certain breeds and types of dogs into Guernsey.

These breeds are:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brazilero

Different rules

There are different rules if you are travelling to Guernsey with a dog to sell or re-home. Rescue dogs moving from the European Union (EU) for re-homing to the Channel Islands
(CI) are not covered by the PETS because they are being moved with the intention of a change of ownership and are not accompanied by their owners. Such movements are treated as commercial movements and have to comply with the rules of the Balai Directive (92/65/EEC). Balai applies to all animals being transported from an EU rescue centre, foster home or charity to a new owner in the CI’s because this involves a transfer of ownership.

Dogs will have to travel with a valid pet passport and an official health certificate.

Requirements for the commercial movement of dogs:

1) Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC), the original copy of which must accompany the dog or dogs. This requires that rescue dogs entering the Channel Islands must:

  • Come from a holding registered with the EU Member State of origin
  • Have had a clinical examination 24 hours before dispatch carried out by an vet who is authorised by the correct authority to certify the dog or dogs is/are fit and healthy for travel
  • Have a destination address

Further information can be found on the DEFRA website.

2) TRAde Control and Expert System (TRACES) – a system which monitors the movements of the dog or dogs within the EU. The Member State (MS) where the rescue dogs originate from will notify the Office of the States Veterinary Officer in the Channel Islands of the impending import. Further information can be found on the UK Government’s TRACES page.

3) Pet Passport – each dog must travel with a completed valid pet passport, including:

  • Being identified by a microchip
  • Being vaccinated against rabies after the dog is 12 weeks of age and in accordance with the recommendation on the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet
  • Wait for 21 days after a valid vaccination before entry into the Channel Islands
  • Being treated for echinococcus (tapeworm), administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the Channel Islands. This excused dogs from Ireland, Finland, Norway and Malta.

4) Animal Welfare During Transport – No person must transport a dog or any other animal in a way which is likely to cause injury or undue suffering. Further safeguards include:

  • Transporter Authorisation
  • Vehicle approval
  • Fitness of the animal for the intended journey
  • Journey times, feeding and watering instructions.

In addition:

  • The dogs must stay a further 48 hours at the place of destination indicated on
    the ITAHC because of welfare requirements of this regulation
  • Dogs and cats may be checked within 48 hours at the place of destination by the Office of the States Veterinary Officer. If any of these conditions are not met, the dogs must go into quarantine at the importers expense. Please note that the Channel Islands do not have any quarantine facilities.

Disease screening:

Rescue dogs have to be tested before export to the Channel Islands for both Leishmania antibodies and antigens. If a dog test positive for Leishmania, it is recommended that it is not exported and that it is re-homed in its country of origin.

Before rehoming dogs from Mediterranean countries, they should also be screened for tick-borne diseases: Ehrlichia (Ehrlichiosis), Anaplasmosis and Borrelia (Lyme disease) and the mosquito-borne Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm). Similarly, if a dog tests positive for antibodies for any of these infections it is recommended that it is not exported and that it is re-homed in its country of origin.

Your dog’s well-being whilst travelling

General travel advice

  • Seek advice from your vet on how best to transport your pet and protect their welfare
  • Your dog should be fit and healthy for the journey – a dog is not fit to transport if it is ill or injured (except for minor illness or injury)
  • Before the journey ensure your pet has received all the relevant vaccinations (if necessary)
  • It is important that you advise the airline or ferry operator that you wish to travel with your dog. This is so that they expect them upon your arrival and can ensure they are comfortable during travel

Travelling by ferry

  • Aim to get to the ferry port early so that your carrier can give you the most suitable position in the car deck for your dog
  • If possible, during hot weather, travel overnight when the temperature may be cooler
  • Make sure your pet is comfortable and has enough water and never leave your pet in a car in direct strong sunshine or high temperatures
  • Ensure the ferry company officials know that there is a live dog in your car
  • When leaving your vehicle, ensure that your dog has enough ventilation. Normally you will need to leave at least one of the windows partly open, but equally, it is important to make sure your dog can’t escape
  • For safety reasons, unfortunately you are not normally allowed to visit your dog while the ferry is at sea. Ask the ferry company for a copy of their access policy and find out how they look out for your dog whilst sailing

Travelling by air

  • Check with your airline that they are prepared to take your dog and ask them what they require
  • You will be required to purchase an approved International Air Transport Association (IATA) container, which is clean and leak and escape proof. The container must have enough space for the animal to be able to turn around normally whilst standing, to stand and sit erect and to lie in a natural position
  • Some airlines ask for a private fitness to travel certificate which your vet can issue

Check out the DEFRA welfare of pets whilst travelling leaflet here.

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