Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order)

This Order, which extends to Scotland only, creates, in limited circumstances, a Pet Travel Scheme similar to that already in place in England. The Scheme provides for exemptions from the requirement that pet cats and pet dogs imported into Scotland must be placed in quarantine under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974, S.I. 1974/2211.

The Order draws a distinction between qualifying European and non-European countries and territories, and makes provision for animals entering Scotland from each (Article 4 and Schedules 1 and 5.) In the case of qualifying European countries and territories, the animal must be transported by a carrier authorised by the Scottish Ministers. It must be identified by a microchip, vaccinated against rabies, and must have had a blood sample taken and tested demonstrating that the vaccination was successful. There must have been a six-month delay between the date the sample was taken and importation. All this must have been carried out in one of the countries or territories specified in Schedule 1. The animal must have been vaccinated against ticks and the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis in accordance with the Order, and must not have left the territories specified in Schedule 1 in the preceding six months. The animal must be accompanied by two official health certificates relating to rabies vaccination and treatment for Echinococcus multilocularis and ticks, and a declaration to the effect that the animal has not been outside the countries covered by the Pet Travel Scheme in the previous six months.

Similar provisions apply to non-European countries and territories (Schedule 5).

The Scottish Ministers will approve a transport undertaking as a carrier under this Order if they are satisfied that the carrier is able to comply with the Order, and in particular with the conditions in Schedule 4 (article 7(1)(c)). A carrier is under a duty to check that the correct documentation is carried and that the animal is imported in accordance with the Order (article 8).

The Order imposes duties on passengers bringing in cats and dogs during the journey and on arrival (article 4 and Schedules 1 and 5) and gives powers to officers of the Scottish Ministers and local authorities to stop vehicles and carry out searches (article 9).

The Order makes consequential amendments to the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974.

Failure to comply with a condition of the Order relating to importation of an animal is an offence under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974. Breach of the Order otherwise is an offence under section 72 of the Animal Health Act 1981.