IAADP
International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners


Access Issues: Quarantine Policy Changes





Hawaii Quarantine Policy - Major Change 2001

Updated Hawaii Quarantine Regulations updated information

UK Air Travel Update for Teams - 2002

British Quarantine Rules Change - 2004

Good News for Assistance Dog Teams in USA on Air Travel to UK - 2007

Exciting Change to UK Entry Protocol for US & Canadian Teams - 2012





Guide Dogs, Service Animals and their Partners
travel the world to study, work, and volunteer!

December 5, 2006-- Traveling internationally with a disability often presents added questions to answer, choices to make, and challenges to tackle. People with disabilities find unique ways of meeting these challenges including traveling with guides dogs, seizure response dogs, hearing dogs and many other types of service animals.  The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) knows traveling abroad with service animals like these can be interesting, challenging and full of questions such as “What is the Pet Travel Scheme?”; “Should I take my guide/service animal abroad with me?”; and “What are the laws regarding guide dogs/service animals abroad?” Frequently Asked Questions: Traveling Internationally with Guide Dogs and Service Animals, a new resource provides tips on:

  • Getting your Guide Dog or Service Animal into another country
  • Microchip requirements
  • Banned Breeds/Animals in other countries
  • Caring for your Guide Dog / Service Animal while in another country
  • Finding out about laws and attitudes relating to Guide Dogs and Service Animals abroad
  • Making the decision on whether or not to bring your Guide or Service animal with you
  • Connecting to the International Guide Dog and Service Animal Communities
  • Cultural issues related to traveling with a service animal

This resource includes first hand experiences of Guide Dog Handlers and Service Animal Partners who have participated in many international exchange experiences and dealt with all of the questions, procedures, and decisions involved in taking these skilled working animals around the world and back again. Start planning your international exchange experience—Read Frequently Asked Questions: Traveling Abroad with Guide Dogs and Service Animals at www.miusa.org/ncde/tipsheets/servicedogs today!

 

For more information contact:

National Clearinghouse on Disability & Exchange

Tel/TTY: (541) 343-1284
Fax:  (541) 343-6812

Email: clearinghouse@miusa.org

Web: www.miusa.org/ncde

 

The NCDE is administered by Mobility International USA and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.


Hawaii Quarantine - Update


by Joan Froling

For nearly a century, the State of Hawaii has imposed a quarantine on dogs entering the islands from the outside world. It viewed its quarantine as a public health necessity. Dogs were confiscated from their owners and put into a kennel controlled by the government where they were watched for 120 days to determine if they had rabies. The only exception has been dogs who come from one of the few countries like Australia or Great Britain, designated as "rabies free," by Hawaii, due to their own strict quarantine regulations.

After the passage of federal legislation called the Americans With Disabilities Act ten years ago, many U.S. citizens with a vaccinated assistance dog assumed Hawaii would have to modify its quarantine policy as a "reasonable accommodation" of their disability. Imposing a quarantine on pet dogs and show dogs and even on dogs belonging to law enforcement or the military might be legal, but our assistance dogs were a horse of a different color. Or so we thought.

Advocates for the disabled have contended these dogs should be regarded as assistive technology, similar to a motorized wheelchair or electronic speechboard. Depriving us of our highly trained canine partner deprives us of much more than mere companionship. These dogs perform tasks essential to our independence, safety and mobility. Forcing us to accept help from humans as a substitute for teamwork with our dog is not viewed by us as a reasonable and humane alternative. It robs us of the dignity of self reliance. In some cases it could be argued that the state's imposition of its quarantine puts our lives at risk. It also can negatively impact a disabled person's ability to earn a living and/or deny them equal access to public facilities.

Another argument sometimes advanced is the fact an assistance dog regards separation as punishment. A refusal to exempt a team from the quarantine rules is bound to have a detrimental impact on team functioning when the two are reunited. Allowing the disabled person to stay at the quarantine station is not a satisfactory way to address this concern in Hawaii, given the reports we received from Mary George of Top Dogs and others who've had to suffer the appalling accommodations there.

The State of Hawaii took the position that our assistance dogs, like any other dogs from the U.S. Mainland, were a public health menace. The fact we could prove the dog had been vaccinated against rabies cut no ice. The development of a blood test to prove the vaccination had "taken" and our dogs were immunized against the rabies virus was dismissed by Hawaii as not good enough. The best they would do if the dog went through an elaborate and expensive procedure that included vaccination, microchipping, and antibody titer testing in advance of the trip to Hawaii was to reduce the length of imprisonment from four months to thirty days. This modification went into effect in 1997. It applied to all dogs, both assistance dogs and ordinary pets.

This was not satisfactory, for it excluded most assistance dog partners from ever visiting the Hawaii. Those of us with assistance dogs are not unsympathetic to the rabies issue. We don't want to do anything to jeopardize the safety of Hawaii's citizens and its animal population. The crux of the matter is that the quarantine has been shown to be an obsolete and ineffectual way to protect native wildlife and pets against the risk of contracting rabies, especially given the conditions reported by those who have stayed at the quarantine station. Scientific methods now exist (e.g. vaccination, OIE-FAVN anti body titer tests) to give authorities a definitive answer on whether a dog is properly immunized. To continue to demand we surrender our assistance dog for thirty days in addition to presenting all the required scientific proof seems like bureaucratic "overkill" rather than a reasonable accommodation.

The State of Hawaii stuck to its guns, insisting it had an obligation to defend its people and livestock against the risk our dogs might be harboring the rabies virus. It said this obligation superceded its obligations under ADA. Some have turned this into a states rights versus the meddling federal government kind of issue. That made it a political hot potato, with humanitarian concerns seemingly lost in the shuffle.

In 1998, a negotiated settlement between a group of guide dog users and the State of Hawaii averted a trial in which the ADA issue would have been tested against the state's arguments. We were keenly disappointed in the outcome, for the State of Hawaii grudgingly gave blind people from the USA whose guide dog went through the antibody titer testing process an exemption and refused to consider extending the same exemption to disabled people with hearing dogs or service dogs. We were particularly dismayed to learn the Department of Justice, which had filed an amicus brief to obtain legal standing in the case, put its stamp of approval on this settlement, for in doing so, it seemed to be an abandonment of all the other disabled people with assistance dogs whose access rights the DOJ is supposed to be safeguarding and enforcing under ADA.

A spokesperson for Guide Dog Users, Inc., (GDUI) in explaining why guide dog users had accepted the settlement offer in 1998, told us the State of Hawaii had threatened to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court. The authorities refused to entertain a settlement that would include other disabled Americans with other kinds of assistance dogs. Their small organization did not have the funds to battle this all the way up to the Supreme Court. A settlement that at least allowed guide dog users into Hawaii in their lifetime seemed better to them than walking away with nothing at all.

Having long admired GDUI for raising fifty thousand dollars to battle the State of Hawaii over access rights, I was pleased they finally had something to show for it. However, the news that Hawaii was so intransigent, it would be willing to fight the rest of us all the way to the Supreme Court was sobering.

After the settlement of the Class Action Suit on behalf of guide dog users last summer, the attorney in the case, Michael Lilly, indicated he would be willing to litigate another case with Hawaii on behalf of another group of disabled people. From the last correspondence I saw on the subject, he was asking for a ten thousand dollar retainer and a commitment to pay all the expenses, which could amount to over fifty thousand dollars. As I understood it, he did not think we could fight for an exemption to the quarantine on behalf of all hearing dog partners and all service dog partners at the same time and win. Not in Hawaii.

In January 2000, a guest speaker with a hearing dog at the Assistance Dogs International Conference, Sue Thomas, echoed those sentiments. She apologized to people with service dogs and asked them to understand her situation. Her attorney had advised her that her only hope of winning would be to limit her lawsuit to only one particular disability group. Therefore her class action lawsuit against Hawaii would only pertain to assistance dog partners who were deaf or hard of hearing.

The idea of fighting this out disability by disability was quite disheartening.

In a surprise about face, the State of Hawaii's Board of Agriculture announced this spring it was proposing modifications to the quarantine regulations that would exempt hearing dogs and many service dogs from a compulsory stay in its quarantine kennels. An article in the Honolulu Star-Tribune late in May 2000 had officials attributing this historic policy change to the state's humanitarian concern for the welfare of the deaf, the mobility impaired and those with epilepsy who rely heavily on the help of their canine assistants when they travel.

The article went on to say the proposed modifications had been sent to the State Attorney General's Office for a review of the language. After that, the documents would go to the Governor. If he signed an Executive Order, the new rules could take effect for visitors with hearing dogs and service dogs the second week of July.

As editor, I did not want to go to press with the outcome still up in the air. I heard from a source on the Presidents Committee for the Employment of People With Disabilities that some members of the governor's cabinet were balking and things were not as nearly certain as we might wish for. It wasn't till the end of June we received word from an IAADP member in Hawaii that the governor had finally put his signature on the dotted line. A newspaper article from Honolulu arrived the next day, confirming the welcome news the Executive Order had been signed, thus legalizing an exemption to the quarantine for a great many assistance dog teams in Hawaii and on the Mainland.

As you might expect, there are some strings attached, over and above the rabies antibody titer testing and microchip requirements already in place for guide dog teams.

One rule is that all teams must enter through Honolulu. They will be met there by a quarantine official who will check to see if the disabled person has brought the necessary paperwork. Another requirement is that the assistance dog must be certified by a nationally recognized training program.

We're told the State of Hawaii has imposed the certification requirement to prevent pet owners from passing their pets off as assistance dogs in order to circumvent the stringent quarantine rules.

Dr. Dewey Sturges, a spokesperson for the quarantine program, in a phone call interview, indicated he would be willing to consider an application from an owner trainer or someone with a privately trained assistance dog on a case by case basis. Such individuals would need to provide satisfactory documentation of training plus a letter from a doctor to verify they have a hearing impairment, a mobility impairment or epilepsy. This report by a member of the Service Dog Email List, Danielle Black, also included the news that someone who relies on a service dog for balance support while walking could qualify as mobility impaired. According to Dr. Sturges, the use of the term "wheelchair" in the proposed regulations was to help explain the term "mobility impaired," and not meant as an absolute requirement for access rights with a service dog.

We do not have a copy yet of the final language contained in the Executive Order signed by the Governor. Nor do we have a clarification in writing from Dr. Sturges on a more lenient policy toward owner trained and privately trained teams than the actual regulations suggest. The list of programs eligible to certify hearing and service dog teams has not been finalized. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii in the near future, it seems prudent to check with Hawaii's State Board of Agriculture for specifics on the kind of paperwork you must bring with you.

We regret that these modifications to Hawaii's quarantine rules may not cover every IAADP member at this time. For that reason we are not breaking out the champagne. We hope to see the categories expanded to include service dogs trained to perform tasks or work for people with other kinds of disabilities when Hawaii makes further changes to their regulations in 2001, something already on the drawing board.

IAADP shall continue to advocate for universal access rights for all assistance dog teams. The quarantine barrier to the achievement of that dream is beginning to crumble. We hope Hawaii's precedent setting exemption for hearing dogs and service dogs on humanitarian grounds will have an impact on how other countries with a rabies free status, including Great Britain, view requests from assistance dog teams from North America for a similar exemption. We also hope it will influence the policies of those countries when they are petitioned for an exemption to their quarantine by their own disabled citizens who wish to travel to the USA or Canada with their assistance dogs.

In closing, it seems fitting to acknowledge the efforts of the many fine individuals and organizations who tried to secure an exemption for assistance dog teams to the Hawaii quarantine on humanitarian grounds down through the years. In addition to all those within the assistance dog community who labored individually and collectively to bring about these changes, we also salute the disability rights activists, human animal bond organizations, scientists, legislators, government officials in Hawaii, journalists and other concerned individuals who have stood up to be counted in this struggle. It is said a snowflake by itself is powerless, but accumulate enough of them and it can become an avalanche.

Additional Footnote from Jenine Stanley, Guide Dog Users, Inc. on Actual Cost to them of fighting this civil rights battle: At the time Carla Campbell, GDUI's Public Relations Officer, and I attended the IAADP conference in Orlando in 1998, GDUI needed approximately $50,000 to finish paying our bills for the case. We had not yet gone to settlement either and things looked sketchy at best. The actual amount needed for the entire case was over $200,000. We were able to recover some court costs once the bills were paid but the amount was quite small. We fully respect the difficulty of entering into these ventures. GDUI has offered any of its research and documentation to those working on entry for other types of assistance dogs. GDUI also offered testimony in favor of other kinds of assistance dogs being admitted in May 2000, when Hawaii took public comment on proposed changes to their quarantine regulations.



Current Regulations for Assistance Dog Entrance to Hawaii (5/01)

Allowing Guide Dogs and Service Dogs to Enter Hawaii Without Quarantine


THE HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON THE ISLAND OF OAHU IS THE ONLY PORT OF ENTRY FOR ALL DOGS AND CATS ENTERING HAWAII UNLESS A VALID NEIGHBOR ISLAND INSPECTION PERMIT HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.  THIS INCLUDES GUIDE DOGS AND SERVICE DOGS.

GUIDE DOGS AND SERVICE DOGS THAT MEET THE FOLLOWING DEFINITIONS CAN COME INTO HAWAII WITHOUT QUARANTINE PROVIDED THEY FOLLOW THE STEPS OUTLINED BELOW.

"Guide dog" means any dog individually trained by a licensed guide dog trainer for guiding a blind person by means of a harness attached to the dog and a rigid handle grasped by the person.

"Service dog" means any dog that is individually and professionally trained to: alert a person with impaired hearing to the presence of people or sounds; assist a person with disabilities involving mobility by pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, or otherwise aiding the user in accomplishing a variety of tasks; alert a person with a seizure disorder to the onset of a seizure or to alert another person or organization at a remote location to the seizure; or alert a person to an impending life-threatening medical crisis and assist in mitigating the consequences of such a crisis; and that belongs to a person with a disability that substantially limits a major life activity.



KEY POINTS FOR QUALIFYING AS A SERVICE DOG OR AN EXEMPTED GUIDE DOG

  1. The dog must have current rabies vaccination. (Documentation of the vaccination must include the product name, the lot or serial number, and the expiration date of the lot.)
  2. The dog must have an electronic microchip implanted for identification.
  3. Prior to arrival the dog must have passed one OIE-FAVN test after 12 months of age, with a level of 0.5 I.U. rabies antibody or greater.  The laboratory will not perform the tests unless the microchip number accompanies the test request form. A passing test result is valid for three (3) years.
  4. The dog must have a standard health certificate issued not more than 30 days prior to arrival in Hawaii.
  5. For a service dog, there must be a physician's statement which certifies as to the disability, and that the service dog provides assistance having to do with that disability and documentation of training, or a certificate of training as a service dog by a training program accredited by Assistance Dogs International, Inc., or a service dog training program with equally rigorous administrative, operational and training standards.
  6. To prevent delays on arrival, it is strongly advised that all required documents be sent to the Rabies Quarantine Branch well ahead of your intended arrival date.  Information can be mailed to the Animal Quarantine Station, 99-851 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, HI  96701 or faxed to (808) 483-7161.  Staff may be contacted by telephone (808) 483-7151 or (808) 837-8092 or e-mail: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov to assist your with preparations.     
  7. The Rabies Quarantine Branch must receive notification at least 24 hours in advance of arrival information and location where the dog will be staying. Information can be faxed to 808-483-7161.
  8. On arrival in Hawaii, the dog must be brought by the airline to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility for verification of compliance with the above requirements and examination of the dog for external parasites.  If all is in order, the dog will be released at that point.
  9. Qualified Guide dog and Service dog users may request inspection in the terminal at Honolulu International Airport between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, by notifying the Rabies Quarantine Branch 7 days or more before arriving.  In these cases, a “Notice of Terminal Inspection” with tracking number will be issued and sent to the user.  To avoid confusion and delays, this Notice must be presented to airline representatives upon arrival in Hawaii.  After inspection, if all is in order, the dog will be released.

If you have questions, please contact:
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Animal Quarantine Station
99-951 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaii 96701-5602
Telephone (808) 483-7151
FAX (808) 483-7161
E-mail: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov




PETS TRAVEL SCHEME EXTENDED TO USA AND CANADA


The successful PETS Travel Scheme is to be extended to dogs and cats from the United States and Canada, Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley announced today.

From 11 December, people coming to this country from the USA and Canada will be able to bring their vaccinated pets without having to put them into six months quarantine. However, until an approved route from North America is available and official certification agreed, animals will have to go into short stay quarantine, usually only for two to three days, whilst the microchip and paperwork are checked.

Announcing the extension to North America, Elliot Morley said: "I am proud to be associated with the Pet Travel Scheme. Since we introduced the Scheme in February 2000 over 75,000 dogs and cats from Europe and rabies-free islands have used the Scheme to enter the UK without having to go into six months quarantine.

"When we introduced the Scheme we recognised that there was significant demand from people in the USA and Canada, and indeed UK travellers, for those two countries to be included in the Scheme. We were cautious about doing so, but did undertake to consider again whether or not to include these countries in the Scheme. We have now done this.

"We have carried out several scientific assessments of the risk of importing rabies if the Pet Travel Scheme was extended to USA and Canada. These assessments concluded that the risk of importing rabies into the UK by extending the Pet Travel Scheme to the USA and Canada was low.

"I know that some people feel that we have been too cautious in our approach to including the USA and Canada in our Pet Travel Scheme. But we were not prepared to take such a significant step until we were sure, on a sound scientific basis, that there would be no significant increase in the risks of importing rabies if the Scheme was extended to those countries.

"We now have this assurance and I am therefore very pleased to announce that the Government has decided to extend the Pet Travel Scheme to USA and Canada.

"Because of the many close links between our countries many people in the USA and Canada have the opportunity to come and live and work in the UK. But some refuse because they cannot bear to be separated from their cats or dogs for the six months they must stay in quarantine.

"I am delighted to say that the legislation giving effect to this change has been laid before Parliament today and will come into force on Wednesday 11 December. From that date, dogs and cats from the USA and Canada which meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme will be able to enter the UK without going into quarantine for six months.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to stress that all the conditions applying to the Pet Travel Scheme must be complied with if an animal is to avoid six months quarantine. We have prepared explanatory leaflets for pet owners and US and Canadian vets. These are available from my Department and are on our Website."

Discussions with airlines for approval of routes into England and with the authorities in the USA and Canada about appropriate certification to accompany such animals continue. Until these are in place, qualifying animals will have to go into quarantine for a few days until it is confirmed that they do meet fully the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme. If they do then they will be released from quarantine as quickly as possible.

The UK has been free from rabies for many years and wishes to remain so. The Pet Travel Scheme rules are strictly applied; it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their animal meets all the conditions of the Scheme and that the owner has all the documentation to prove this. Travelers from the USA and Canada must bring their documentation with them.

In the UK and Europe most microchips and scanners comply with ISO Standards. The USA and Canada have different microchips. Owners of animals identified with non-ISO microchips may experience some difficulties in demonstrating that their animal has been microchipped. Such owners are advised to provide their own scanner.

Notes for editors
1. The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was launched on 28 February 2000. For the first year it applied only to dogs and cats from Western Europe. On 31 January 2001, it was extended to 28 long haul countries, such as Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Bahrain was added to the Scheme earlier this year.
2. To date, some 75,000 dogs and cats have entered England under the Scheme without the need for quarantine. The Scheme operates into England on over 50 sea, air and rail routes from around Europe and the rest of the world.
3. Early next year we expect the European Union to formally adopt a Regulation covering the animal health requirements applicable to non-commercial movements of pet animals. That Regulation allows the UK's Pet Travel Scheme to continue almost unchanged for at least five years before a review of the Community system takes place. That Regulation will lay down how animals coming into the Community, including the UK, will be treated. Such decisions will be taken by the Community as a whole and not by individual member states. In the meantime, the Government will not be making any significant extensions to the qualifying countries under the Pet Travel Scheme.
4. The scientific risk assessments on the risk of importing rabies from the USA and Canada and the report on the risk of other diseases will be published on the Defra website shortly.
5. Further information about the Pet Travel Scheme is available on this site at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm
20 November 2002

EDITOR'S COMMENTS: This is a significant step forward in the battle to end Britain's six month quarantine. All those on both sides of the Atlantic who worked so hard to bring about this alternative to six months of cruel incarceration deserve accolades. Before we break out the champagne, however, we need to realize that no provision has been made to differentiate between assistance dog teams and travelers with ordinary pets, in spite of the advocacy efforts of IAADP and other organizations in the assistance dog field. Right now, our assistance dogs will have to be shipped with other baggage in the cargo hold of an airplane. They will have to spend several highly stressful days in a quarantine kennel in the U.K. while the rabies testing paperwork is inspected. This is a bitter disappointment to those of us who have repeatedly appealed to the British government to establish an enlightened policy that would allow assistance dog teams to travel between the U.K. and North America without hindrance. One option you have is to petition the British government to work out an agreement with the airlines who will be designated "long haul carriers" that would allow assistance dog teams in the plane cabin and same day release from the quarantine facilities in London on humanitarian grounds. An alternative is to focus advocacy efforts on the European Union, which next year will adopt a regulation governing animal health requirements applicable to the non commercial movement of pets animals. That regulation will lay down how animals coming into the community, including the U.K., will be treated. How can those who will be drafting this regulation be made to understand the importance of a special provision for assistance dog teams? Ideas on this matter would be welcome.




NEW UK AIR TRAVEL RULES


EMBARGO: Monday, 04 April

PRESS RELEASE: Guide dogs flying high with Pet Passports

New guidelines, allowing guide dogs to travel with their owners on long haul flights under the Pet Passport Scheme, will be launched at GATWICK AIRPORT today, (Monday, 04 April).

Guide and other assistance dogs can now travel in the cabin of airlines with their owners, for a recommended maximum journey time of ten hours. The revised arrangements will be valid on certain long haul routes into Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester, approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to carry animals into the UK under the Pet Passport scheme.

Previously, guide dogs entering the UK on long haul routes had to travel in the hold of the aircraft. The charity had expressed concern that the dogs would become disorientated and distressed, meaning they might not be ready to work once reunited with owners at the destination airport.

Tom Pey, Guide Dogs' Director of Policy and Development said: "We're delighted with the co-operation of BAA, airlines and Defra in allowing assistance dogs to travel with their owners on long haul flights. "Guide dogs and their blind and partially sighted owners form an extraordinary partnership, and it's essential that this companionship remains whilst in transit."

Charlotte Atkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, comments: "For many years, assistance dog users have been able to take their dogs into the passenger cabin for domestic flights. But for those who wanted to travel further afield the choice in many cases was to put the dog in the aircraft hold, or to leave it at home. A stark - and, frankly, inappropriate - choice for any assistance dog user to have to make.

"I am delighted that The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, the air industry, regulators and assistance dog charities have worked together to develop an effective system for allowing assistance dogs to travel with their owners in the passenger cabin of aircraft. This will make a real difference to many thousands of disabled people and their assistance dogs."

Guide Dogs is now campaigning for more airlines and airports to support the Pet Passport initiative, so that assistance dog users have a real choice of routes and carriers when planning their journey.

Additional Information:

International Travel for Guide Dogs and other Assistance Dogs under the Pet Passport Scheme

* To meet the rules of the Pet Passport scheme, the dog must be microchipped, then vaccinated against rabies and then blood tested. It will not be able to re-enter the UK until six calendar months have passed from the date the vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory blood test result.

* The dog must be treated against ticks and tapeworms between 24 and 48 hours before it is checked in to travel on the approved route to the UK.

* Defra approved routes are available into Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester. (See Defra website for details of routes).

* Guide dog and other assistance dog owners are encouraged to plan ahead and discuss travel plans with airline or booking agent.

* Owners should bring with them identification for themselves and their dog as well as a suitable car safety harness for securing the dog during flight.

* Pet Passport documentation should be sent by fax to the Animal Reception Centre, at the UK destination airport, ahead of flight departure.

* On arrival back in the UK, a nominated person will meet the guide dog or assistance dog owner at the arrival gate where documentation will be checked in accordance with the Pet Passport Scheme.

* Once it has passed its check, the animal reception staff will attach a sticker to the dog, enabling it and its owner to continue through Customs and Immigration to their onward journey.

* Further information on the Pet Passport scheme at:
www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm

UK Airlines signed up to the future carriage of Guide Dogs and other Assistance Dogs in the cabin of the aircraft: * British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Britannia Airways, EasyJet, First Choice Airways

Definition of a Guide Dog:

A guide dog is a dog trained to provide mobility assistance to a blind or partially sighted person. In the UK the guide dog is trained, assessed and accredited by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Outside the UK a guide dog is a dog trained by an individual or organization that is accepted by and affiliated to the International Guide Dog Federation.

Definition of an Assistance Dog:

An Assistance Dog is one which has been specifically trained to assist a disabled person and which has been qualified by one of the charitable organizations registered as members of Assistance Dogs (UK). Assistance Dogs trained by members of Assistance Dogs (UK) will have formal identification and have been granted certification by the Department of Health on the basis that the dog's high standards of training, behaviour, health and welfare are such that it should be permitted to accompany its client, owner or partner at all times and in all places within the United Kingdom.

Assistance dogs from other nations, when entering the UK, should meet the full membership criteria of the established international assistance dog organizations - Assistance Dogs International and Assistance Dogs Europe -or other such bodies as may from time to time be recognized.


Exciting Change to UK Travel Rules for USA & Canada 2012

Dogs traveling to the UK from non-EU listed countries like the USA and Canada no longer need a Rabies titer test, then a six month mandatory waiting period before eligible to enter the UK!

The new quarantine exemption protocol is to microchip, then give the dog a Rabies vaccination and your dog will be eligible to enter the UK merely 21 days later! There is no waiting period for future trips as long as you document that you have kept the dog’s Rabies booster shots up to date. You will still need the official third country veterinary certificate filled out. Dogs must be treated by a vet for tapeworm [a pill] no less than 24 hours or more than 120 hours (1 - 5 days) prior to arrival.

You must still travel on an approved carrier [most airlines] on an authorized route [e.g. landing at Heathrow], so check this out before booking your flight, or utilizing alternative transportation.

 




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