Guidelines and resources here…

Importing Your Pets from the UK

Talk to your vet who will probably have helped other people to export pets. You will need to contact the nearest office of Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and arrange for an export licence for the pet.

Details of local offices can be found on www.defra.gov.uk or you can phone their Pet Travel Helpline on 0870 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 08.30 – 17.00.

Procedures do change (see 3 below) but when we brought our cat to Fethiye in May 2004 the process was as follows:

1. Get the cat microchipped and vaccinated for rabies. The former can be done at any time, the vaccination has to be within 3 months of pet’s travel date.

2. DEFRA issues Export Licence a maximum of ten days prior to pet’s travel date. The Licence is issued to your vet, not you. However, my vet faxed permission to our local DEFRA office and I was allowed to collect the Licence.

3. The Licence has to be stamped by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London within four days of pet travel date. Ignore instructions to also obtain stamp from Turkish Consulate. They stopped stamping these licences in 2003 but, as of May 2004, DEFRA were still saying the stamp had to be obtained.

4. Prior to all of above you should have made necessary travel arrangements for the pet. Cats and small dogs can travel in the cabin on Turkish Airlines (THY) and Cyprus Turkish Airways (KTY). Larger dogs go in the cargo hold. Either way your pet needs an ‘approved pet carrier’ which your vet should be able to supply. Note that if you fly THY you have to change in Istanbul, KTY fly direct to Dalaman.

5. Arrive at the airport early. Our flight ticket with Cyprus Turkish had a hand-written note on it stating passenger would be travelling with a pet. But the fare for the pet is based on weight (in May 2004 it was £6 per kilo including carrier) so you pay the fare as part of the check-in procedures.

When you arrive in Fethiye take your pet to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will register the pet, do a general health check and make arrangements for any annual vaccinations when due.

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