Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Taking Poochie or Tiddles on holiday to France has got a whole lot easier

DEFRA logo
Last year the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or DEFRA for short) announced a simplification to the Pet Travel Scheme that now means that it's now even easier to take your Pet Dog, Cat or Ferret to/from the continent.

The revised rules that came into effect on 1st January are laid out on the "what Pet owners need to do" page of the DEFRA website, but boil down to:
  1. Ensure that your pet is uniquely identifiable either by microchip or tatoo. This is a a fairly cheap process that most vets can carry out, or if your pet came from an animal rescue centre they they are quite likely to already have been microchipped.
    The nightmare scenario is if the microchip fails because you then face the whole quarantine process on your return, so worth getting your vet to verify that the microchip is still working before you leave the UK.

  2. Vaccinate your pet against rabies at least 21 days before the date you are due to return to the UK.
    Prior to 2012 there used to be a requirement to wait 6 months after vaccination and then have a blood test to verify that the rabies vaccination had worked. This requirement has now been abolished as long as the vaccination is at least 21 days prior to entry to the UK.

  3. Collect ther pet passport which your vet will issue. This records details of the unique identification number (microchip or tattoo), Rabies inoculation and bi-annual booster dates, tapeworm treatment, etc.
    Our dog's pet passport even has space for a photo of him but we've not been able to get him to sit still for long enough in the photo booth !

  4. Tapeworm treatment for dogs is required to have been completed before you return back to the UK, and this must be between 1 and 5 days before your UK arrival time.
    So if you're going for a short trip you could have the treatment done in the UK before you depart, but for most people this will mean a trip to an overseas vet before you come back home.
    For pet guests to our Brittany Gite we provide details and directions to a local vet in Loudeac that we use, its about €20 for the consultation and tablet which you can administer yourself.
    This is another area where the rules have changed in 2012; the treatment can now be up to 5 days before travel (it used to be 24-48 hours beforehand) and tick treatment is now no longer mandatory, although is recommended.

  5. Finally ensure you are travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route - all the ferry routes from France are, but only the more major airlines that fly into large airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, etc - so if you are using a budget airline best to check beforehand.
And that's it.

We're very happy to take pets at our quiet holiday Gite and the garden is safe and secure and fully fenced in. Our only request is keep the pets off the furniture and ensure that the garden is cleaned up afterwards.

We usually have about one Dog visiting the Gite each year. It's too early to tell if the relaxed DEFRA travel rules will mean that we get more pet guests; but do drop us a line if you'd like to come and stay.



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