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No more ‘Auf Wiedersehen pet’ for animal lovers

DFDS Seaways is preparing itself for an increase in passengers taking their pets with them when they travel abroad, thanks to a relaxation in pet travel rules by Defra on 1 January.

The company’s ferries to Holland from Newcastle and Denmark from Harwich have been popular choices for pet lovers for several years, but from next year new rules will make foreign travel with pets cheaper and easier.

The government is relaxing restrictions on travelling with pets to bring the UK into line with other European Union (EU) countries. This will mean people can take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other EU countries and certain non-EU countries and territories, and return with them to the UK without needing a blood test before travelling.

Changes to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) will also reduce the length of time after vaccination that a dog may enter or return to the UK from six months to 21 days. Pets no longer need to be treated for ticks.

Tapeworm rules, which will only apply to pet dogs, will take effect from 1 January, 2012. They will need to be treated against Tapeworm between 1 – 5 days before their scheduled arrival time in the UK, compared to 24 – 48 hours previously.

2012 will also see an increase in the number of approved non-EU countries* covered by the PETS scheme.

The new rules will mean that dogs, cats and pet ferrets entering the UK from an EU or listed third country from January 1, 2012 must:

  • be microchipped;
  • be vaccinated against rabies;
  • have waited 21 days after vaccination before entering
  • have an EU Pet Passport

DFDS Seaways’ customers can travel with their dog, cat, ferret (and other small animals) when travelling with a vehicle for £19 one way. Owners can either leave the animal in their vehicle or even use the onboard kennels on the Newcastle to Holland ferry route for a small extra charge.

Every year DFDS Seaways carries several thousand pets, including rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs, as well as cats, dogs and ferrets, to the continent, and the company is expecting a significant increase in demand following the relaxation of the rules.

DFDS Seaways customers often take their pet camping in Europe, although pet friendly accommodation is available through the company’s holiday partners, Center Parcs Europe and Novasol cottages.

Pets can be booked online or via the telephone and more information can be found at www.dfds.co.uk/pets

* For more information on the Pet Travel Scheme and the full list of approved non-EU countries visit the Defra website www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Kirsty McNaught: 0191 244 6637; kirsty.mcnaught@robson-brown.co.uk
Peter Bould: 0191 244 6664; peter.bould@robson-brown.co.uk
Gemma Cohen: 0191 244 6652; gemma.cohen@robson-brown.co.uk

Notes to editors:

DFDS is one of Europe’s largest ferry companies, operating both passenger and freight routes between England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Lithuania.

DFDS Seaways holds the prestigious title of Europe’s Leading Long Sea Ferry Operator 2011 awarded by The World Travel Awards for the fifth year in a row. 

In the UK, the company operates passenger services on routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam, Harwich to Esbjerg and Dover to Dunkirk.

For further information, visit www.dfds.co.uk