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Moving Your Pet to the UK
Moving to a new home can be both exciting and daunting. Moving turns daily routines upside down and backwards. Pet owners face additional challenges relocating to a new home. That is particularly true if a pet will make the move on a commercial flight. Professional pet movers can take the stress out of such a move for you and your pet. Pet shipping or animal transportation companies manage your pet's move from point of origin to final destination or provide just specific services for your pets.
Selecting the right animal transportation company can be a little confusing if you are a first-time client. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have trouble getting answers or are apprehensive about the answers you receive, contact another provider. A reputable pet shipper should be patient with you as you ask about their company and experience. With proper research and careful selection of a reputable and experienced pet mover, you can help ensure that your pet arrives safely and comfortably into your family's new home.
No quarantine for pets entering the United Kingdom. Sounds fantastic! Yet there are lots of details to attend to before Fido, the kitty, or the ferret may fly to the United Kingdom.
The rules for pets entering the UK changed in 2012. Pets must fly as manifested air cargo under the DEFRA regulations. They cannot fly in the cabin. Most professional pet shippers use five basic steps with UK-bound families:
1. Microchip the pet for identification purposes
2. Rabies vaccinate the pet with an approved vaccine after microchipping, recording the microchip number on the Rabies vaccination certificate
3. Wait at least 21 days before entry
4. Visit an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of flight departure who will issue the international health certificate
5. Dogs must be treated for internal parasites within 24-120 hours before flight departure. External parasite treatment is not required for dogs, cats or ferrets.
Professional pet shippers know which airline to use for pet air cargo flights worldwide. They are familiar with each airline’s conditions for accepting pets, seasonal weather restrictions, and they stay current on the ever-changing pet import rules around the globe. While moving a pet internationally is not low cost, it is high benefit. Using an expert pet shipper reduces expensive delays and unplanned quarantines. Many countries have very detailed regulations, which can take six months.
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation like actor Johnny Depp. His illegally imported Yorkies were threatened with extermination unless they left Australia. In addition to the normal UK protocol, we’re recommending dogs receive a flu vaccine before travelling because the canine flu is rampant right now.
When contacting a pet mover, ask if they have a streamlined health certificate programme, which makes it simple for local veterinarians to certify their relocating patients. Ask if they offer a VIP door-to-door service and other service levels that meet your family's relocation budgets.
Professional pet shippers which meet strict eligibility requirements are listed on the International Pet & Animal Transportation Association website, www.IPATA.org.
For US Citizens:
Pet relocation costs for US citizens moving for work may be eligible for an income tax deduction. For details, see IRS Publication #521–Moving Expenses.
Ask All the Questions You Wish ....
Your first consideration should be how long the company has been in business. The complexities of the industry tend to weed out less competent providers within the first few years, so choose a well-established firm. Ask if the current owner has been involved since the inception or is new to the company. Experience can make a difference, particularly in an international move.
2 EXPERIENCE & SERVICES:
Make sure the company you consider has the kind of experience and services you need. Ask how many animals the company moves each year and whether their credentials match your needs. Are you moving a cat, dog, horse or exotic pet domestically or internationally? Ask about experience with the specific destination or origin country. Ask how they streamline the documentation and health certificates that may be needed.
Does the company have relationships with just a few or all of the major airlines? What about their understanding of the international marketplace and the varied cultural customs and differences of each foreign country? Probe to determine if the relocation specialists who will assist you and your animal regularly manage moves to dedicated geographic regions. Do the relocation specialists manage moves all around the world making relationship building an integral part of their employment?
Request a summary of the principals' credentials. Are they licensed veterinarians or business professionals? A veterinarian will be able to better advise you on medical requirements and techniques to prepare your pet for the move, and can render medical services if required. Ask if they and their staff own pets. You'll want to work with people who understand how important your pet is to you.
A mark of a reputable animal mover is involved in professional associations. Look for affiliates of the IPATA, ATA and IATA as a baseline. These organisations keep members current on regulation changes, research developments, new trends and products, in addition to providing a forum for sharing best industry practices.
6 REFERENCES & REFERRALS:
Ask for references and check them. If you know other pet owners, ask them for referrals to animal movers they've used. And don't overlook the value of the Internet for researching pet moving service testimonials from satisfied customers.
Using a professional animal transportation service is not a less expensive alternative to arranging the move yourself. Professional animal movers draw on their experience and relationships with airlines and overseas service partners to make pet moves go smoothly. Such expertise comes with a price. Ask for an all-inclusive written estimate in advance of the move. The estimate should be customised to your pet's itinerary and delineate the specific services you and your pet will receive. It should also spell out what you are expected to provide and when.
Article produced by Dr. Walter Woolf is the Founder & Chairman of Air Animal Inc., Tampa, Florida.
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