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DEFRA writes to Council regarding Ukrainian pets entering the UK Published Date: 24/06/2022

In the letter written by the Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Christine Middlemiss, she wrote:

"We recognise that pets are central to so many families and people’s lives and that they should not be left behind, if possible, as their owners flee the conflict. We are making it easier for people to bring their pets here so we can support refugee journeys to a safe and stable life in the UK.

"Whilst we are facilitating the arrival of these pets, we must be mindful that the UK has long been rabies free. We need to continue this to protect both public and animal health. Rabies is endemic in terrestrial animals in Ukraine so it essential that we facilitate pet movements in a way that maintains our biosecurity.

"Quarantine spaces in the UK are limited and will not be able to meet the anticipated demand of 1000-2000 pets. We are therefore putting in place a risk-based approach to increase our capacity through the licensing of new quarantine facilities and using other isolation options such as boarding kennels and home isolation - where appropriate - for lower-risk animals."

The letter outlines "new arrangements for pets which are not fully compliant with our routine pet
import conditions, upon arrival".