Thursday 30th June 2011
Today DEFRA announced that the UK will soon be relaxing its entry requirements to bring ferrets into the UK as part of the harmonising of its rules with other EU member states from 1 January 2012, bringing the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme into line with the most recent science.
DEFRA advise "All pets will still need to be vaccinated against rabies. Pets from the EU and listed non-EU countries such as the USA and Australia will no longer need a blood test and will only have to wait 21 days before they travel. Pets from unlisted non-EU countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa will be able to enter the UK if they meet certain strict criteria to ensure they are protected against rabies, including a blood test and a three-month wait before they enter the UK."
"The changes will ensure the risk of rabies coming to the UK remains extremely low. It’s estimated that the new rules mean there would be one case of rabies in a pet in the UK once every 211 years, with the possibility of a person dying from rabies obtained from a pet once in every 21,000 years."
FERT welcomes the announcement by DEFRA as this will eliminate much confusion regarding travel requirements for ferrets around the EU and listed countries.
Where the new guidelines no longer require the need for treatment for ticks nor tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis), we would suggest that owners who wish to bring their ferrets into the UK, and those wishing to take their ferrets to overseas destinations on holiday, to shows or travelling, that they continue to treat against ticks and tapeworm as a level of standard care.
The change in regulations only set a baseline of what is required and as in most cases it is recommended to ensure that as an animal owner you surpass that baseline of what is required and ensure your ferret is protected against other potential hazards.
FERT strongly recommends also to include the vaccination for Canine Distemper Virus for ferrets even if it is not your intention to travel with your ferret outside the UK as this disease is fatal to ferrets and can be easily prevented.
Further information concerning the Pet Travel Scheme and ferret welfare when travelling will be available in an upcoming leaflet available from FERT via its website.
For ferret entry into the UK from EU and listed countries.
Requirements for ferret entry from unlisted countries will differ. Please check DEFRA documentation
Downloads: Information Document