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Traveling with pets

Regulations regarding the carriage of animals are complex and vary from country to country and airline to airline. You are advised to contact the authorities in the destination country, as well as checking the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website for up-to-date information. You may also seek advice from Edinburgh Airport's small animal Border Inspection Post - [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)131 317 7277.


Airlines will only carry animals if arrangements have been made in advance, as space is often limited. Please contact your airline for advice.

Taking pets out of the UK

You must comply with the requirements of the destination country. Some will only require an export health certificate, some will need proof of vaccination and others will require you to obtain an export/import permit. DEFRA operates an export helpline on +44 (0)20 7904 6347 or Fax +44 (0)20 7904 6395.

Arrival into the UK

You can travel from any country to the UK with your pet provided you comply with the regulations of the Pet Travel Scheme. Your pet must travel to the UK as manifest cargo on an approved route - to Edinburgh you can utilise the services of: Lufthansa, KLM, Qatar, Etihad, Thomson, Swiss, United, Air Canada. Arrangements must be made and confirmed with the Border Inspection Post - [email protected] - before the journey commences.

Extrordinair Animal Reception Centre

Edinburgh-based freight forwarding company Extrordinair operates the Border Inspection Post (BIP) at Edinburgh Airport - the only small animal BIP in Scotland. The Border Inspection Post gives owners of dogs, cats or ferrets under the EU Pet Travel Scheme the option of touching down in the Scottish capital.

The Border Inspection Post has been designed to meet the needs of pets of varying sizes. Fresh water and dry food will be provided and your pet will have access to a secure exercise area. This facility aims to reunite passengers with their pets within three hours of arrival.

Our Border Inspection Post is also approved to accept birds, reptiles, fish and many more small animals.

For more information, or queries regarding travelling with your pet, please visit the Extrordinair website ( or contact them direct by telephone on +44 (0)131 317 7277 or email [email protected].

Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

Dogs, cats and ferrets are now able to travel from any country to the UK without the need to undergo quarantine, provided they meet certain requirements. Only carriers approved by DEFRA may carry animals into the UK on specific routes.

To be considered for entry under the Pet Travel Scheme, a pet will have to meet the conditions that can be found on the DEFRA website (

Note: Pets that travel to the UK under an Annex 1 may only enter the UK through Edinburgh, Gatwick or Heathrow airports.


It is important that, in addition to the health and documentation requirements, your animal travels in an IATA approved container, which must be well ventilated and large enough that the animal can stand up, lie down and turn around freely. No part of the animal is allowed to protrude from the carrier and it should be secure and leak-proof. Airlines and specialist agents will be able to advise you on obtaining such a container. Sedation is not allowed.

Assistance dogs

Guide and hearing dogs qualify for the scheme and must meet the same requirements. Some airlines permit assistance dogs to travel in the cabin. You must contact [email protected] at least two working days before your arrival to arrange for your dog to be met and checked on arrival. If you do not contact Extrordinair in advance, you may experience lengthy delays.