UK & EU Update Rabies Rules, Australia Considering Rules Changes Advises Air Animal Pet Movers

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The United Kingdom and the European Union have both updated their rabies vaccination policies for pets entering any of their member states. The changes take effect immediately. Australia is considering substantial changes to its pet import policy in 2023, according to Walter M. Woolf, VMD, founding veterinarian and CEO of Air Animal Pet Movers.

Black cat in tartan

This kitty is showing some UK tartan spirit. UK and EU rabies regulations affect all imported pets.

"The UK and EU have both updated their rabies vaccination policies for pets entering any member state, effective immediately."

The United Kingdom, European Union and Australia are popular relocation destinations. All have made or are considering significant pet import rule changes.

Australia is considering increasing it's 10-day pet quarantine to 30 days. They may also require 180-day minimum residency in the origin country. Both changes will go into effect in 2023 if approved.

The UK and EU have both updated their rabies vaccination policies. To enter with a pet, pet parents must show proof of a current rabies vaccination:

  • The first vaccination after microchipping or any lapse in coverage is a “primary” vaccination and only valid for one year under the new rules--even if the pet received a three-year vaccine.
  • If the primary lapses—even by one day—pet parents must start over.
  • If a pet receives its booster before the primary lapses, it is valid for one to three years depending on the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pet parents are required to prove there was no lapse in rabies vaccination coverage since the primary vaccination.

Want to simplify the paperwork?
Air Animal clients can keep track of vaccination certificates by uploading them to their Air Animal Pet Portal accounts.

Or pet parents might ask a veterinarian to scan the pet’s microchip and give a one-year rabies vaccination at least 21 days but less than one year before their UK travel date. That way, no matter the rabies vaccination history, they only have to keep up with one vaccination certificate instead of several.

After the move:
Please register with a local veterinarian to keep pet rabies vaccinations valid. Veterinarians typically send reminder notices when vaccinations are due. If another move is in the future, everything will be ready.

For more information on relocating to the UK, EU or Australia, check the resources menu at

About Air Animal
Air Animal has helped more than 55,000 families move their 135,000 furry, feathered and scaly pets around the globe since 1977. They welcome pet move authorizations and referrals from major corporations, relocation management agencies, household goods movers, veterinarians, families, U.S. military and government transferees. Get the best in animal care and transportation. Air Animal is an appointed and endorsed IATA air cargo sales agency working with all airlines that move animals. They are an Indirect Air Carrier cleared for tendering live animals to airlines by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. See to learn more about Pet Moving Made Easy®.

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Karen Frashier, APR, Fellow PRSA
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