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The rules on bringing pets from Ukraine to Wales.

First published:
26 May 2022
Last updated:

Pet travel rules

Any pet travelling to the UK must meet strict health requirements. This is to ensure they are not bringing diseases which do not exist here and could be very serious. These include, but are not limited to, rabies.

Cats, dogs and ferrets traveling to the UK from an unlisted third country, such as Ukraine, are considered compliant and can enter and move freely across the UK if they:

  • have been microchipped
  • have a pet passport and an official veterinary animal health certificate (AHC)
  • have had tapeworm treatment
  • have been vaccinated against rabies
  • have successfully passed a blood test 30 days after rabies vaccination, and
  • have completed a three-month waiting period in the country of origin after the satisfactory blood test ahead of travel

It is extremely important the pet meets all those requirements. If not, owners or sponsors will need to contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency to apply for a license to bring their pet to the UK. Find out more at Bringing your pet to the UK from Ukraine (on

If a pet arriving in Wales doesn't meet all these requirements, it will need to enter quarantine in authorised facilities for up to 4 months.

Are the rules for cats, dogs and ferrets different from those in England and Scotland?

Most of the rules are the same across the UK, although some are different in Wales.

Which rules are different?

Non-compliant pets destined for Wales must undergo quarantine in an authorised facility.

We understand how important your pet is to you. We want to do everything we can to ensure people seeking refuge in Wales are reunited with their pets safely and as quickly as possible.

But, we have concerns about how we can monitor and enforce the home isolation process adopted in England and Scotland.  

This is why we have taken the decision to uphold quarantine in authorised facilities. It is the safest option to protect both animal and public health.

Why did you take this decision?

This is not a decision taken lightly.

We have to act on the evidence available to us. We must protect and care for animals coming from Ukraine. We must also protect animal and human health in Wales. To do this, we need to reduce the risk of exposing them to diseases such as rabies.

Will you review this decision?

We will continue to assess different options so that pets are in quarantine for as short a time as possible.

Are assistance dogs and emotional support pets exempt from official quarantine?

“Therapy dog” or “emotional support dog’ are generic terms used to describe a dog which benefits people in a therapeutic way. 

Assistance dogs are legally defined in the Equality Act 2010. This prohibits service providers from discriminating against people in need of an assistance dog. Reasonable adjustments must be made to accommodate disabled customers and their assistance dogs. 

British travel companies usually recognise guide and assistance dogs trained by approved organisations. This allows travel on more routes and forms of transport where other animals are not permitted. 

Assistance dogs must satisfy the same animal and public health requirements for travel as other companion animals. However, there are protocols in place by the Animal and Plant Health Agency to prioritise their entry to the UK. Assistance dogs not fully compliant with conditions for entry are exempt from the requirement to quarantine in official facilities. The common practice is for this to be allowed under specific terms. This allows the dogs to continue their service. 

Currently, therapy and emotional support animals do not have legal recognition in the way that assistance animals do in the UK. They are therefore not exempt from the quarantine requirements for companion animals.

Will my pet be cared for in quarantine?

Yes, animal welfare is very important to us.

Whilst your pet is in quarantine, they will be well cared for. We will also provide any veterinary treatment they need to comply with health entry rules. 

How long will pets be away from their owners?

Pets will be individually assessed to check what actions need to be taken before they can be released to their owner. These actions take into consideration:

  • vaccination and treatment history
  • blood test results, and
  • time since leaving Ukraine

The longest quarantine time will be 4 months but the period will vary from case to case. It will depend on what steps we need to take to achieve full compliance with UK entry requirements.

Who will pay for this?

We will pay for this.