Dog owners and handlers are advised to check the rules on the entry of animals into Britain ahead of this year’s Crufts show at the NEC Birmingham. Crufts 2023 will take place over four days from March 9-12, with around 24,000 dogs taking part and more than 150,000 visitors expected to attend the event.
This includes more than 3,000 dogs from 48 different countries in the breed evaluation categories leading to the Best in Show title. This year will see the highest proportion ever recorded of foreign dogs, with 18 percent of the total number of dogs competing. France leads the way with 398 dogs, just ahead of last year’s favorite Italy (387).
With Birmingham Airport right next to the NEC, many will travel to the event by plane, while others will choose to come by Eurotunnel or ferry. But all international visitors should be aware of the UK travel rules for pets.
READ MORE: Full schedule of Crufts 2023 dates, times and judging for each show day
These include making sure dogs are microchipped. In the UK alone, more than a million dog owners are unaware that it is now a legal requirement to have their pet microchipped and risk a £500 fine for not doing so.
The microchip law was implemented in April 2016 for dogs and will soon be mandatory for cats as well. Owners are legally required to ensure their dog is microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old, unless they have health conditions that preclude the procedure.
Owners are also responsible for updating their contact details and dog microchip information in the database, as failure to do so could result in another £500 fine, pet insurance experts from Quotezone.co.uk.
In addition to being microchipped, dogs are still legally required to wear a collar with the owner’s contact details when out in public. Microchipping not only means dogs can be identified and returned to their owners, but it also helps reduce the growing number of stray dogs and eases the strain many animal shelters find themselves under. Charities and local authorities can save millions of pounds a year by not having to feed or house dogs that have gone missing but whose owners cannot be traced.
Also, the microchip is crucial for pet insurance. Insurance providers can invalidate a policy if a dog goes missing without a microchip. The microchipping process is quick and painless and can be done free of charge at Blue Cross and Battersea rescue centres, or for a small charge of around £20 at a local vet or council.
Other rules also apply for bringing dogs into the UK for any reason, including participation in shows such as Crufts.
What are the foreign travel rules for Crufts 2022?
Government rules say you can bring your dog into Britain if:
- has been microchipped
- have a pet passport or health certificate
- has been vaccinated against rabies
The dogs are also expected to have received a tapeworm treatment. Pets and their owners must enter the UK via an approved route with a specific tour operator; all of these are listed on Gov.UK here. You must also complete a statement confirming that you will not sell or transfer ownership of your pet while you are here.
Your pet could be quarantined for up to four months if you don’t follow these rules, or denied entry if you came by sea. Owners will be responsible for any fees or charges.
Also, it’s important to note that your pet must arrive in Britain no more than five days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow different rules. These also apply if you are bringing more than five animals and not attending a competition, show or sporting event.
The UK has a list of prohibited breeds that can be removed and destroyed by the police or local authorities. These are the pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.
Pet passports or a Pet Health Certificate from Great Britain are accepted by the authorities from the following countries (known as Part 1 countries): EU countries, Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mayotte (French territory), Monaco, Norway, Réunion (French territory), Saint Barthelemy (French territory), San Marino, Saint Martin (French part of the island – territory French), Switzerland and Vatican City.
A British Pet Health Certificate, but not a Pet Passport, is accepted if you come from the following countries (known as Part 2 Listed Countries): Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain , Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda , BES Islands (Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba), Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curacao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saint Martin, Singapore, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan , Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates , US (includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands), Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
If your country is not listed, you will need a Pet Health Certificate from Great Britain. Your pet will also have to follow specific rules about rabies, vaccinations and blood tests, the government said.