How to get an animal back to the UK 12/08/2015

We are constantly being asked how to take an animal back to the UK.

With the changes in the quarantine law it is much easier and a little cheaper as there is no need to have a blood test for rabies which is around 80€, or to quarantine the animal for 6 months.  See the article on the changes from 1st January, 2012.

From May to October inclusive, it is possible to arrange a flight directly from the island to the UK.  Not all airlines are licensed to take animals so you need to check that out first.  The animals needs a suitable sky kennel which is airline approved, and also approved by the agent arranging the shipping.

There are certain requirements that must be 100% adhered to, all the details are on the defra pet travel web site, it is very important that you look at this site to ensure that you are aware of any changes.  They are currently reviewing the worming requirement but at the moment it still stands at, ‘not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours prior to entering the UK’

There are a lot of specialist companies that can make all the arrangements for you, these will have web sites and it is up to you to find the one you prefer.  Prices can vary considerably.

In the winter months this is more difficult as there are no direct flights.

The animal has to be transported to Athens airport for onward travel to the UK.  There is a daily flight from the island to Athens, weather permitting.  They are very small planes on some days so it is essential to make sure that they can take your animal on the day they are due to fly to the UK.

You will need an agent in Athens to make sure they are booked and taken to the relevant area for their onward flight.  If you are using a company to make all the arrangements they will probably have these contacts.

You could always fly to Athens and collect your pet and do the necessary to take it home.