Mobility in 2019
Nowadays, Globally mobile employees work relatively short-term assignments, moving from country to country. Some employees move the whole family and become permanent residents of the new country, although the trend is away from this longer duration stays. How does this affect pet ownership and relocation of pets?
The challenges of moving with pets
Pets are very popular with families across the world but is it something for a family constantly under the threat of being moved or transferred to another country every so often?
Moving pets around is a lot more different than people, and every country has different rules and for some countries it can take a long time before the pet is even allowed to fly and can take up to 9 months or more. Which for those unprepared, could leave owners in a dilemma if they need to move quickly so could mean them trying to finding friends to look after their pets, or expensive boarding.
So how better prepare to make things smoother?
It all depends on which country you go to as each country has different rules and most countries normally require ISO microchip, annual vaccinations and rabies vaccination that’s over a month old but less than 12 months. In Hong Kong the AVID chip is standard and not the ISO. The difference between them is the AVID chip has 9 digits and the ISO has 15. USA and Japan also have different chips which are non-ISO type. Also note that even though your vet may have given a 3 year rabies vaccination, not all countries recognize this.
Keep your vaccine cards and Dog Licenses handy, the dog licence in Hong Kong is a document that is always renewed each time you get a rabies vaccination. Note that usually these can take a long time to process so if you need one quickly, ask your vet (who applies for the dog license) to fast track the application. This document is needed for any dog leaving Hong Kong.
Check your vaccination booklet (or pet passport) from your vet and note the dates given and dates when they are due again. Annual vaccine is at it says, administered annually. Make sure you keep this up to date.
Keep up to date with Blood tests:
Some countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan etc. require a rabies blood titre test. This is to measure the level of rabies antibodies in the blood stream and can only be done one month or later after a rabies vaccination. This can be done only at certain laboratories (usually UK, USA) and the results can take between 3-4 weeks although a fast track service is available for an extra fee. Once you have the results then depending on the country, this can be good for up to 2 years. Having this document up to date is especially useful if moving to Japan or Australia where they normally have a 180 day wait when a new blood test is submitted before being accepted to travel. Although the blood test can seem to be an expensive document to always keep up to date, if you are likely to move to one of the countries where it is a requirement then you would be highly advised to keep this document valid.
Brexit is still not resolved but all pet shipments going to the UK have the same import rules as always and has not been changed, however, the area where it could be a concern is traveling FROM the UK to any EU country where the blood test results will be needed. If there isn’t one available then there will be a 3 month wait once blood has been drawn for the test. This again is only on the basis that Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
Choosing a new pet
If acquiring a new pet whilst in Hong Kong and also in a position of moving, please note that brachycephalic breeds (snub nose) are difficult to move and very few airlines accept them. For example if you need to move to Philippines or Singapore, then you will only be able to get your snub nosed dog there via private jet. There are no airlines crossing the Pacific between HK and US that accept them and usually they have to go via Europe and only under certain conditions. Please bear this in mind when you take on one of these breeds. We will explain more about this breed in a separate blog.