All rabies-susceptible animals entering the UK have to spend six months in quarantine.

However, there are exemptions under the Pet Travel Scheme, which applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. Pets from designated countries can enter the country without quarantine as long as they meet the scheme rules, and UK residents can take their pets to the designated countries and return to the UK without quarantine.

The scheme's rules include getting your pet fitted with a microchip so that it can be properly identified, getting it vaccinated against rabies (at least 21 days before entering the UK) and a pet passport must be obtained. Dogs must be treated for tapeworm between one and five days before arriving in the UK.

Rabies is a fatal disease of the nervous system that can affect all mammals, including humans, cats, dogs, farmed animals and wildlife. The disease is spread by the bite of an infected animal.

For more information on the pet passport scheme and rabies visit the Defra website.