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Thankfully, cats and dogs are now largely able to enter the UK & Ireland from many European (DEFRA Annex-A) and other (Annex-B) countries under the ‘PETS’ Passport scheme, which represents a huge step forward from the ‘bad old days’ when extensive isolation in a quarantine unit was unavoidable.

Unfortunately, the UK & Ireland will still require 6-months quarantine in certain circumstances, and these can be summarised in two main categories:-

  1. You are coming from a DEFRA Annex-A (European) or –B (non-European) country (ie. ‘PETS’ Passport approved country) but you have either not obtained a rabies antibody blood test, or have obtained the test and need to travel within 180-days of that blood test (this blood must be taken not less than 30-days after being vaccinated, and 180-days before entry).

  2. You are coming from a non-annexed country (ie. one that falls outside the "PETS" Passport scheme). Examples frequented by ex-patriots include South Africa, Saudi Arabia  & China (but there are many more – we’ll tell you whether or not your planned departure state is on the list).

By definition, quarantine, even in a well run unit, means 6-months in effective solitary confinement, isolated from all contact with other cats/dogs, no opportunity to exercise, and only limited human interaction. Remember that dogs, and to some extent cats, are pack animals by nature, so this is often not a nice experience for them.

Can you avoid this fate for your four legged family member?

The simple answer is ‘yes’, although the requirements are extremely specific, with many potential pitfalls (regrettably, a significant number of our guests are with us as the result of their owners falling into such a pit whilst trying to qualify for ‘PETS’ themselves). There is a significant risk of having your UK entry delayed, having to start all over again, or even having your pet placed into quarantine upon entry – these are risks that we can eliminate, and we have many years experience in helping our clients around the complexities of both the UK and Irish requirements, and those of other jurisdictions such as Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

By qualifying your four legged family member as a resident of France, where the entry requirements are more favourable, our guests can, after a period of time, travel on the UK or Eire under ‘PETS’ without having to be quarantined, and avoid all the stress and anguish that isolation entails.

We would urge anyone planning to use this service to speak to us on a case-specific basis, but the basic (although far from straightforward!) requirements are as follows:-

  1. You are coming from an DEFRA Annex-A or -B country (approved under the ‘PETS’ Passport scheme)

In general terms, we may assume this list is similar to a list of EU countries plus qualified ‘third countries’ approved by the EU.

Perhaps you are unable to proceed direct to the UK/Eire under the scheme because your pet has no acceptable form of ID (tattoo or microchip), or has not had a rabies vaccination, or has had the vaccination but not an antibody test. A common issue is that he/she has had the antibody test but 180-days have not elapsed from the vaccination and the family need to travel straight away.

First, you must have your pet identified by tattoo or chip (we recommend the latter), then vaccinated for rabies and have certification to this effect. You will require a Passport (coming from EU) or an EU form 998 (non-EU). Unless these requirements are met, he/she cannot enter France.

Your four legged family member can then come to France, and spend some time with us in Normandie. If no antibody test has been done, we shall immediately arrange this, provided 30-days have elapsed from vaccination.



[this is the body text] however, the UK & Ireland (plus Malta & Sweden) will still require 6-months quarantine in certain circumstances, and these can be summarised in two main categories:-

  1. You are coming from a listed country for the purpose of PETS but:-
    1. Your pet has not been properly prepared, or
    2. Your pet was properly prepared but has left the listed countries since preparation (this has the effect of invalidating the preparation, with the exception of microchipping), or
    3. You are in the process of preparation, but have to return to the UK/Ireland before it is complete.
  2. You are coming from non-listed country.
    1. [more body text] xxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx.



Your friend will be our guest for a maximum 179-days. This runs from the date of the rabies vaccination. This must have been done to enter France, so only the balance of this period needs to be spent with us. Whatever the period, he/she will not be isolated. A kennel with indoor and outdoor areas will be provided, or a comfortable cat pen with climbing/scratching facilities. They will receive lots of love, attention, and cuddles. Dogs will be walked twice a day over open countryside. If they are sociable, they can mix with other guests, our own dogs, and even spend time with us in the house where they will meet our children and friends. You can also visit, and take your friend away for a weekend or longer, anywhere within France (and most of Europe!). None of this would be possible within the isolation of a quarantine regime, and we hope that guests leave us not with mixed-up feelings of isolation and confinement, but nice memories of a happy interlude in Normandie!

  1. You are coming from a DEFRA non-annexed country (not approved under the ‘PETS’ Passport scheme)

DEFRA non-annexed countries broadly conform to those countries not listed by the EU as qualifying ‘third countries’.

The situation now becomes a little more complicated and time consuming. It is essential that you seek advice before beginning the process. The order that things are done is vital lest otherwise legitimate stages will be invalidated!

    1. Your pet must be microchipped to ISO standard 11784.
    2. He/she must be vaccinated against rabies.
    3. A blood sample must be taken by an authorised veterinary surgeon (we will assist in finding one in your country), not less then 30-days after vaccination.
    4. The blood must be checked for rabies antibodies by an EU approved laboratory, who will issue a certificate. Here’s the hurdle: the blood must be taken 90-days (three months) before departure for France. There may well not be such a laboratory in your country, and the blood will need to be couriered to France or the UK, ergo allow plenty of time!
    5. Prior to departure your veterinary surgeon needs to complete an EU form 998 (French & English version – the more common English version will not be accepted - we can supply the correct form).


Obviously all usual annual vaccinations also need to be up to date. You will see that the process needs to be started at least three months before your leave the non-annexed country, if your four legged friend is to remain living with his/her family up to departure date!

He/she then travels to France.

    1. We shall immediately repeat the rabies vaccination (the UK will not accept any vaccination carried out by a veterinary surgeon in a non-annexed country). A ‘PETS’ Passport is issued.
    2. 30-days later, the antibody blood test will be repeated (for the same reason).
    3. 180-days after the blood was taken – assuming all is well under ‘7’ - he/she can enter the UK and Ireland under ‘PETS’.


If this is handled correctly, you will appreciate that there is no need whatsoever for your pet to be isolated. He/she can live at home prior to leaving for France, and once here, he/she will spend seven months enjoying the same relatively free lifestyle as in I. above – walks in open countryside, interaction with other dogs, people, and if sufficiently social, our family and home. You are also free to visit and spend time away together during the qualifying period.

We also have clients, retiring from overseas service, who choose to spend seven months’ sabbatical in France so as not to be separated from their pets – should this be something that you would be interested in doing, we would be happy to make the arrangements for you, process the paperwork, and even locate a suitable rental property for you via a number of agents with whom we regularly work.

This a basic guide only. These requirements can change materially with circumstance. If you have several hours to spare the full requirements are set down on the DEFRA website, and in a very user-friendly manner on the excellent site. Click on the links below and you’ll see what we mean!! A full list of DEFRA Annex A & B countries (EU qualified ‘third countries’) is also available via these links.

We wanted to give you a flavour of the actual requirements, rather than simply wax lyrical about what we offer. We have avoided using a standard booking or enquiry form with this page because this is, as you can see, a very complex area, and we would much prefer to speak with you on an individual case-by-case basis; we know what questions to ask and how to apply them to the regulations. Once we know where you are, where you are trying to get to, and all the other many details required, we will be able to draw up a bespoke plan and assist you through every step of the process from start to arrival at you final destination, wherever that may be.

Please remember also that we can collect guests from their port of arrival (normally Paris Charles de Gaulle airport – CDG) and, if required, repatriate to the UK in our own vehicles. We normally use the Channel Tunnel so we can stay with guests during the short UK crossing, but we are also just an hour from Cherbourg, with its direct ferry services to the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Here at Le Chenil du Caravelle, we have never had a pet refused entry into the UK or Ireland.

We’ll leave you with a few pictures of guests enjoying “UK quarantine” the Caravelle way!


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