Pet Passports Make For Easy Travel, Avoid Fines

Having a pet passport can speed up and simplify traveling with animals between countries. A typical pet passport will have the microchip or tattoo number of the animal and a complete record of immunizations and vaccinations required for entrance into most countries. While airlines have inspected that document in the past, look for increased scrutiny going forward after one carrier received a hefty fine in a pet passport related incident.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has been fined £1,800 (about $2,800) by a UK court for carrying a cat found to be traveling on an invalid pet passport, reports Barry & District News. On top of that, KLM was ordered to pay costs of £3,000 and a victim surcharge of £120.

A pet passport is just one part of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), a system that enables animals to travel between member countries without undergoing quarantine. Started in the UK, the PETS program then rolled out to other European Union countries, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In the case of the KLM incident, the Mexican cat’s passport had discrepancies over its identification and, more importantly, its rabies vaccinations. “Without trading standards’ intervention, the possibility of a rabies outbreak could have been catastrophic,” said Principal trading standards officer Christina Roberts-Kinsey.While the PETS program is a step in the right direction, standardization between countries is still a work in progress. To fly, pets need a wellness exam, food in-transit and they, too, will have to go through security at the airport. Companies that specialize in transporting pets like have the most current and accurate information.

The approach designs a custom plan for each individual pet, satisfying or exceeding the entry requirements of countries around the world. Clients receive their pet‘s flight schedule the week before the flight detailing all of the flight numbers, departure and arrival airports along with the pet’s “Air Way Bill” (or ticket) number. These 24/7 flight tracking instructions keep pet owners informed.

Flying on United? A first-class lounge for pets recently opened at Chicago O’Hare.

Twelve tips before making your pet a world traveler

The story about the U.S. soldier who was granted permission to bring the dog she rescued from a trash pile in Baghdad to the U.S reminded me of the friends I’ve known who have brought their pets with them when they have moved to another country.

In the case of the U.S. soldier, the issue was with military regulations that needed to be worked out. In other cases, bringing a pet has to do with airlines and the regulations of the country to which you are moving.

Depending upon the country, regulations differ. Knowing what to expect right off can save you time and frustration in the end. For example, if you move with your dog or cat to Singapore, there is a lengthy quarantine process. One set of friends brought their two cats. Other friends brought their dog.

Every other day or so, both sets of friends would head out to the place where their pets were being held to visit. Along with the time and expense it took to get to the quarantine location, they had to pay several dollars a day for their pets’ lodging and care.

With pets offering undivided devotion, the desire to include them in a move is compelling. If you’re so inclined, here are tips to consider before turning your pet into a traveler:

These 10 tips are from the Website Living in Indonesia, but most of them are not Indonesia specific.

  1. Find out from the airline the regulations for the country to which you are moving. Also find out what you need to know about bringing your pet back with you.
  2. Consider the costs for both going overseas and coming back in your decision making. Getting there is only the first part.
  3. If possible, bring your pet along with you as access baggage which will allow you to check on your pet throughout the journey.
  4. Sending your pet via cargo may be more practical and cheaper.
  5. If you can, schedule layovers so your pet can have a travel break.
  6. Make sure your pet carrier meets regulations
  7. Clearly mark the carrier with the name of the pet, your name and your destination.
  8. Before your trip, put your pet into the carrier for long periods of time to get your pet used to being in the carrier.
  9. Put one of your pet’s favorite blanket or toy in the carrier to create a sense of familiarity
  10. Don’t feed too much
  11. Don’t give tranquilizers because they put your pet at risk
  12. Attach a water bottle to the cage that can be filled from the outside.

For more details for taking your pet along, click here. Some are Indonesia specific, but they give an idea of those things you should be thinking about.

Here are the guidelines for traveling with an animal on American Airlines. I chose this one for no particular reason. Other details are listed that are worth reading if you’re considering taking a pet on your move.