Protecting the travelling pet

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With an increasing number of vets now regularly dealing with pets that have travelled abroad and returned infected with diseases such as Leishmaniosis and Babesiosis, the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation has relaunched its advisory leaflet  ‘Taking your pets abroad - your guide to diseases encountered abroad’.

"Travelling with your pet needs careful planning well in advance” explained Carl Padgett, a veterinary surgeon and Chairman of the BVA AWF Trustees. “For example, to comply with rabies regulations owners need to get their pet vaccinated and then blood sampled to check that adequate immunity has developed. Six full months must then pass before the pet would be allowed to come back to the UK following a trip abroad.”

“We would therefore encourage pet owners to make good use of this time to research the possible health problems associated with their holiday destination, both for them and their pet, and to ensure that pets and people alike are then protected against the various diseases they could encounter.

Our leaflet outlines some of the more common diseases of pets that can be encountered outside the UK along with details of measures that can be taken to prevent them. It also explains the criteria that animals must meet under the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme as well as a reminder of the importance of contacting your vet should your pet develop any illness on their return to the UK.” 

The ‘Taking your pets abroad’ leaflet is available to download from the BVA AWF website at  Veterinary practices can obtain batches of leaflets for the waiting room from the BVA AWF agents Ten Alps (while the leaflets are free there is a £3.50 charge for postage and packaging) while members of the public can request individual copies by contacting BVA AWF direct. 

Notes for editors

1. For further information, including a hard copy of the leaflet please contact the BVA Press Office

2. You can contact Ten Alps on 020 7878 2307

3. Contact BVA AWF on 020 7636 6541 or

4. The new leaflet is the latest in a series of BVA AWF leaflets designed to assist pet owners - previous leaflets include Pets and Poisons - Keeping Your Animals Safe, What Makes My Pet Happy and Caring for Your Ferret. You can see and download the leaflets

5. The BVA Animal Welfare Foundation is the veterinary profession’s charity committed to improving the welfare of animals through veterinary science, education and debate. The Foundation is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. To make a donation please visit or call on 020 7636 6541.