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Traffic Management Office – Personal Property Office
Bldg 426 / 582
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk United Kingdom IP28 8NG
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
Policies and rules for shipping pets vary at each installation. It’s important to understand the regulations, prohibitions and laws at your new installation before moving with a pet. Below, you’ll find installation-specific details for registering, boarding and transporting your pet.
Any external websites or companies listed are not federally endorsed.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs governs the import and exports of pets for the United Kingdom. For up-to-date guidance on bringing pets to the U.K., follow the step-by-step pet shipping information on the DEFRA website at https://www.gov.uk/bring-pet-to-great-britain. If you need more assistance, you can contact DEFRA by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 011-44-370-241-1710.
The required paperwork is shown on the website listed above. Completed certificates MUST be endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - International Regulations for Animals (if pets are coming from the U.S.) after the tapeworm treatment (dogs only) has been done. This should be documented on the U.K. health certificate by a veterinarian. The easiest way to do this is to use a military veterinary treatment facility. If you are not near a military vet, then the forms must be sent to the USDA.
It's a requirement to use a pet shipping company. There are pet shipping companies around the local area (Royal Air Force Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Feltwell, Molesworth, Alconbury and London) that can be hired to help with the shipping process, if necessary. Know that these can be expensive, and costs are not reimbursed. The RAF Feltwell Veterinary Treatment Facility does not recommend any specific companies. If arriving on the Patriot Express rotator follow this additional guidance.
If you live in Base Housing, be aware that you must register dogs and cats with the VTF within 30 days of your pets arriving into the U.K. You must register pets even if you use other veterinary services that are available in the local area. The registration packet can be emailed to you before arrival. The VTF is open Monday through Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. It is closed on the last business day of each month for inventory. The VTF is an Army facility, so consider the holiday schedule may be different than Air Force facilities.
It is important to realize pet laws in the U.K are different than laws in the U.S. The Animal Welfare Act makes the owner of a pet legally responsible for the care of the pet including:
You are also required to have a tag with contact information on your pet. U.K. leash laws require your dog be on a leash at all times while out of your garden (yard). If your pet is picked up by the council without contact information, you could be fined up to £1000.
It is illegal to dock your pet’s ears or tail in the U.K, and declawing a cat is considered mutilation. No vets will perform the surgeries in the U.K.
More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/caring-for-pets.
If you go away on vacation, you are responsible to either leave your pet with someone or make sure someone stays in your home to care for your pet.
There are a number of companies in the U.K. offering pet insurance. You can find information on several companies offering pet insurance online or through your U.K. vet office. Be sure to read the small print and double check the monthly premium.
In accordance with U.K. law, all pets in the U.K. must be microchipped, and it needs to be a 15-digit microchip. Understand once you arrive in the country, you will need to register your pet’s microchip number with a U.K. company. The U.K. microchip databases CANNOT access U.S. microchip companies’ databases. If your pet is lost, all vet clinics or shelters will first scan for a microchip. If you have failed to register your pet in a U.K. database, the chances of reuniting with your pet will be slim.
Registering at the RAF Feltwell VTF does not register your pet’s microchip number in a U.K. database, as this is a separate system. If you have any questions, contact the U.S. military vet clinic at DSN 314-226-7097 or commercial at 011-44-1638-527097.
The Gateway Inn has limited designated "pet-friendly" rooms available on a first-come, first-served basis for guests traveling with a maximum of two cats or dogs. Book as soon as possible in order to get a pet-friendly room. If you have pets and a pet-friendly unit is not available, you will have to make arrangements for your pet to stay in another location while you stay in a regular temporary lodging facility room. Local hotels may have pet-friendly rooms available as well. Check with the front desk at lodging for a list. Another option could be to get a fully-furnished, short-term, pet-friendly accommodation. Contact the Housing Office at DSN 314-226-2101 or commercial 011-44-1638-522101 for more details.
There are various pet boarding facilities available in the immediate area and generally cost from £15 per pet each night. You will want to make arrangements for boarding before you arrive in the U.K. Prior to booking a kennel, check to see if your sponsor will visit the facility to ensure it meets your needs. *Disclaimer: Below are a few options, however this is provided for ideas only, and these are not federally endorsed:
Before you decide on a kennel, you will want to do some research. You will also want to ensure you keep the following items in mind:
Pets are an important part of your family; however, bringing them in and out of the United Kingdom can be a complicated and costly process. Start the process early and make sure you have a complete understanding of the U.K. rules and regulations. When deciding whether to bring your pet, you will want to consider their health. The preparation time to bring a pet to the U.K. is between one and three months depending on where you are traveling from. In some cases, you may have to ship your pet before or after you arrive in country. This is due to breed and weather restrictions put in place by the airlines.
There could be pets available for adoption in the U.K; however, consider this seriously as Animal Welfare laws in the U.K. are strict and different to what you may have been used to in the United States. The veterinary treatment facility at RAF Feltwell, DSN 314-226-7097 or commercial 011-44-1638-527097, is available to answer your questions and assist you.
For information about what the U.K. requires when bringing a pet from the U.S., visit the article "Bringing Your Cat, Dog or Ferret to Great Britain."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides the transportation certificate you need to bring a pet to the U.K. and back home to the U.S. Read the article "International Regulations for Animal Exports Home" for more information.
The RAF Feltwell VTF is located approximately 30 minutes from RAF Mildenhall. The mission of RAF Feltwell Veterinary Services is to provide compassionate and quality veterinary care to optimize the health of military working dogs and privately owned animals within the U.K. while also providing food safety and defense for our installation personnel and their families. This Army unit is the only U.S. military clinic for all of the U.K. Pet owners living in Base Housing must register all pets with the VTF within 30 days of arrival. It is recommended to also have a registration with an off-base vet clinic in case of emergencies.
VTF registration requirements include:
To ensure you have all required documents, contact the U.S. Army Veterinary Detachment at DSN 314-226-7097, or commercial 011-44-1638-52-7097. Email email@example.com for a registration packet or for more information.