The government introduced new ones emergency assistance to those fleeing Ukraine with their pets. Using an emergency licence, people fleeing Ukraine can bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine costs covered by the government.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency ensures fast approval of licenses and quarantine measures to avoid additional burdens and delays. The government will also cover their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognizing that many people from Ukraine will not be able to complete the full health training of their pets upon arrival.
The maximum quarantine period for a pet that has not been vaccinated against rabies is four months. Pets will be treated individually, the quarantine period will be shortened for vaccinated ones.
The government is also introducing a new rabies blood test that will be able to detect existing rabies vaccinations. This will help in cases where refugees have traveled without vaccination documents.
Results can be returned in at least two days, and some animals are then isolated if they test positive for rabies antibodies. This will help maintain our strict biosecurity measures and allow people to be reunited with their pets more quickly if possible.
We work with vets and quarantine facilities to ensure that Ukrainians are not delayed arriving in the UK due to the process of housing their pets.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
People forced to flee Ukraine are in a terrible situation. I am pleased that Ukrainian refugees will be able to bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine costs paid for by the government.
As part of our new streamlined process, any animals that have already received treatment can also be trimmed in quarantine facilities and returned to their owners as soon as possible.
Before arrival, people leaving Ukraine or their transporters should contact the Animal and Plant Protection Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 3000 200 301, option 2. They can then confirm their consent to obtain an emergency license and arrange for any necessary quarantine required to complete the rabies risk management process.
The UK has a limited number of quarantine facilities and we will give preference to those fleeing Ukraine who wish to bring their pets with them.
Formerly Chief Veterinarian called on charities to return home check guidelines online and ensure rescue animals have the necessary vaccination documents after recent follow-up border checks by APHA revealed that a consignment of 19 animals imported by a rescue charity had traveled illegally on false rabies documents.
Ukraine is a country that is not on the list of movement of domestic animals due to the confirmed presence of rabies. We are seriously concerned about the continued commercial movement of animals between or from Ukraine and neighboring countries and the health risks this poses. The UK has been rabies free for 100 years and the movement of large numbers of rescue animals entering the UK from countries at high risk of rabies without proper medical treatment is a serious biosecurity and public health risk. A number of serious cases of inappropriate imports, including those based on falsified documents, were also recorded.
To ensure that we continue to prioritize those fleeing Ukraine with their pets, all commercial imports of dogs, cats and ferrets from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Romania have been temporarily suspended for another eight weeks until 3 September 2022.