PetFlyers Blog

Pet Travel to the UK in 2024 – All you need to know to send your pets from Australia – Petflyers

It’s 235 years since the first English Settlers arrived Down Under and even though transport has improved beyond imagination it is still a long way from Australia to the UK. Yet the two countries remain perpetually entwined and there are thousands of People and their Pets moving between Australia and the UK each year. It’s easy enough to purchase your ticket to the Motherland but how do you get your Pet there?

Start your Pet Travel to the UK

Contact a Pet Shipper to discuss your needs of Pet Travel to the UK and get a quote. Petflyers provides instant online quotes for Clients Shipping their Pets to the UK so you just need to complete the International Enquiry form on our website and the quote will be emailed to you. Please call us if you have any questions about our quote.

We suggest you always use an IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association) Member for Pet Travel to the UK. IPATA members generally have more experience, adhere to higher levels of Professional standards and have a large network of Pet Shippers around the world they work with. They attend global meetings to keep up to date with the latest developments in Pet Shipping, have staff trained in the Live Animal Regulations, and abide by the IPATA code of ethics.

Your Pet Relocator will be able to advise the best routes to get there and how you can coordinate your own Pet Travel to the UK. Once you have decided on a date and route you will need to complete a booking form and pay a deposit.

Our terms are a $1000 deposit at the time of booking with the balance due 15 days before departure. We arrange the flight, final vet check, export documents, and daycare for your Pet between the Vet Check and departure time. We also arrange for the Customs Clearance upon arrival in the UK and if you have booked a delivery to your UK Residence we shall organise that as well. When the Airline confirms the flight we email you a booking confirmation with all the relevant details.

Many people like to do some training with the Travel Crate (You can see Airlane-approved crates for Brisbane Pet Transport here, if you have any questions, please contact us for proper crate recommendations) and we encourage you to do this. If you are getting your crate from us you can collect it from our Agent in advance, or, for an additional fee we shall drop it to your House. Some Airlines require photographs of your Pet with their crate at the time of booking and we shall discuss this with you at the time of booking.

Dog and Woman Running, Pet Travel to the UK
Image by Freepik

Veterinary Requirements

Basically, the only Government requirements for Pet Travel to the UK are a Rabies Vaccination, given at least 3 weeks before travel, and a tapeworm (Echinococcus) tablet shortly before departure. We organize the worm tablet during the final Vet Check. The UK Government does not require current Canine or Feline vaccinations but your Pet needs to be up to date with these as well as it will be close to other Pets during the journey.

Routes, Airlines and Destinations

All Pets to the UK have to stopover somewhere. The route you choose depends to an extent on how long you wish your Pet to be in transit. Qatar Airways and Emirates have animal transit Lounges and Pets traveling with these Airlines have a mandatory stop in their Animal Transit Lounge for at least 6 hours. Pets are released from their crate into a unit when they arrive and given food and water. They get a comfortable bed and have the unit to themselves, unless sharing with another Pet from your family. Depending on the final destination they may have to stay there for 24 hours or more before their second flight to the UK.

While the facilities in the Animal Transit Lounges are great we understand not every owner wants their Pet to spend such a long time in transit. If you have a nervous Pet or one who would prefer not to have other Pets nearby in adjacent units you may prefer they fly straight through. This can be achieved by booking them with Airlines like Qantas or Thai Airways. If your Pet flies with these Airlines they will stay in their crate for the whole trip but they will get there as fast as you can, which is about 24 hours. Their water is replenished during the transit stop.

From Australia flights to the UK depart from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. If you live elsewhere we can fly your Pet on a domestic flight to one of those Ports. In the UK we can fly Pets to Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, London (Heathrow & Gatwick), Manchester and Newcastle. We can arrange road transport from the major Airports to pretty much any point in the UK so if the place you are going is not near a major Airport don’t stress, we’ll still get your Pet there!

The Airline we use depends largely on the origin and destination you require. Our specialist International Team will happily discuss all the options with you so you can choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

Brachycephalic Pets

If you have a short nosed breed it will need a special Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) check with a Vet before travel. We shall email you the relevant documents. At the moment Qantas is the only Airline accepting Brachycephalic breeds on flights to the UK.

Commercial or Non Commercial?

Pets are either shipped to UK on a commercial health certificate (HC) or a non commercial health certificate. The terminology is misleading because it really has little to do with Commercial activity. The definition of a Non Commercial Shipment is one where the Owner arrives within 5 days of their Pet. Otherwise it is a Commercial Shipment. So if you are flying from Adelaide to London and arriving in London 6 days before your Pet this is a Commercial Shipment because you are not arriving 5 days or less before your Pet. If you are flying from Sydney to Glasgow 3 days after your Pet this is a non commercial shipment because you are arriving within 5 days of your Pet. And if you have more than 5 Pets it will be classed as Commercial Shipment no matter when you arrive.

So what does it matter if your Pet is traveling on a commercial or non commercial health certificate? There are 3 things that come into play; price, routing & choice of destination. The clearance fees are higher for Commercial Shipments. This means the UK Government is charging to clear Pets into the Country if they are traveling on a Commercial HC. Pets traveling on a Commercial Health Certificate are also not allowed to transit in some Countries (eg Qatar & Thailand) unless they have had a Rabies Titre test. Titre tests are expensive so best avoided if possible. Finally not all UK Ports have a Border Inspection Post with authority to clear Commercial Shipments, eg Manchester only can accept Non Commercial arrivals. So it is important to plan your travel in conjunction with your Pet’s travel and arrive within the 10 day window (no more than 5 days before or after your Pet) if you can.

Transfer of Residency (ToR1) System

The UK charges import duties on personal effects if you do not have a ToR1 number. This includes Pets. To avoid paying these duties you can go to this link and request a ToR1 number –

Pets Returning to Australia

If you are planning to take your Pet(s) to the UK one of the first things you need to consider is will they be coming back to Australia?

If the answer if yes you have a lot to consider. Firstly the process is a lot more expensive and more complex coming in the opposite direction so you should get a quote from an IPATA Pet Transporter based in the UK so you have an idea how much it will be. You should familiarise yourself with the required steps – You can find them here

Secondly, you need to understand your Pet(s) will need to spend up to thirty days in the Melbourne Quarantine Station when they return. You need to be organized because space in the Quarantine is at a premium and you will probably have to book several months in advance to avoid delays to your Pet’s Schedule.

Thirdly it is highly advisable to get a Rabies Titre test before you leave Australia and keep it up to date. If you decide to return at short notice it will help a lot if this has been done.

Ready to Make Your Pet Travel to the UK Smooth and Easy?

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