Arriving in the UK with Pets to the HARC.

Key Info for what happens on Arriving in the UK with Pets to LHR (the HARC)

Ferndale has been transporting pets to UK for over 20 years.

We have visited this HARC centre, and know the staff welll who work there. Below follows some information about what happens when pets arrive there. Let us know if you would like any other information!


The UK arrival process.

Arrivals image
Arrivals image

Upon arrival at Heathrow pets are collected from the aircraft and taken directly to the Animal Reception Centre (HARC), As soon as the pets arrive at the HARC, they are taken out of their carriers and put in to the dog kennels or cattery rooms there.
Then, pet and paperwork checks are undertaken by DEFRA State Veterinary Service, and also the HM Revenue & Customs department.
Its the role of the HARC staff to check pets are in safe correct travel crates, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements.
It’s also their role to confirm all the paperwork is up to UK regulations relating to animal movements.
The dogs go into indoor areas with a bed and also access to an external run -so they have space to stretch legs after being in a crate for many hours. Cats go to the cattery and will have a bed and a litter tray, so can escape the confines of the crates. All animals are given food and water. The kennels are heated in the winter so pets will not be cold if the weather is cold outside.
Only government staff can enter the building but they are all animal lovers and very experienced, the care there is to a very high professional standard.
Once the Government staff are happy, pets are released to you or our drivers for collection. The whole clearance process approximately takes 4-7 hrs from the time of flight arrival.


The HARC facility.

Annually about 16,000 dogs and cats and thousands of other species arrive into the HARC. This facility was buiilt in 1977 and is due for a re-build in 2022.
Its got space for animals to leave their crates, in special catteries or dog rooms.

Trained staff are there 24 hours all year round to ensure the animals are all kepst safe. While they don’t have a vet there, they can quickly get veterinarians in to check animals if needed.


Re-union with your pets.

Re-union with your pets.

If you are self-collecting rather than our UK partners helping with a door-to-door delivery, you will be going in person to the HARC. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, please do not go to the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre until the UK pet clearance agent has told you that your pet is ready for collection. If you are collecting your own pets rather than us arranging delivery, tell the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre staff the pet’s AWB number, and bring some photo ID. As its a government centre, the only update you may get is once they are ready for collection.


Contact Information for the HARC

Please note that it is better to contact the UK pet clearance agent helping with the clearance as a first contact, rather than the HARC, when waiting for inrformation about your pet which may have just landed. 

Contact Tel: +44 (0)208 745 7894

Address: ARC, Heathrow Airport Beacon Road, Hounslow Middlesex TW6 3JF

Finding the Animal Reception Centre- it is a yellow brick building with a large “Q” on top of it. There are no public transport to take there so you need a taxi or own vehicle. You can find the location on Google Maps.

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