Moving to UK from US

mygathyn

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Maryland
All,

I need a little guidance. I am currently applying for jobs in the UK to move to my fiance. However, I have a 5 year old Red-Footed Tort who I need to travel with me. I have researched several different shipping companies who say there's no guarantee of live arrival though they try. I don't want to put him in the cargo of a plane if possible because he's not a hibernating breed.

Can you think of any way or airline that would allow me to carry him or ensure it's a heated environment for him? He's allowed in the UK, I've done the research already as has my fiance but I am now worried about getting him there. I really don't want to give him up because he's now one of my "fur babies" that I can't lose.

Thanks in advance!
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
990
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Check with your airline about having him in a carrier that you would carry-on (and just put under the seat in front of you). I know airlines charge a fee for that and will most likely require a certificate of health from a Vet, but it's an option to have him with you when you travel there.
 

Minority2

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Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,059
Location (City and/or State)
Tortoise Hell
UK import regulations are extremely strict. It's costly and quarantining is often required at the cost of the owner. Here is a fairly recent reply regarding tortoise importation regulations and procedures in UK provided by @JoesMum:

@Zac dale

Import rules for any animal are extremely strict in the UK

You will need full CITES paperwork, with a microchip, for your tortoise showing that it is captive bred and not taken from the wild. Then you will need an import permit.

It is likely be taken into a six month quarantine by UK Customs on arrival that you will have to pay for.

Not all airlines are even willing to transport tortoises - that's another minefield completely.

You/your family need to speak to DEFRA about the rules
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cites-imports-and-exports

It will be a costly exercise and I fully understand you wanting to do it, but the costs and hurdles may make it kinder to find a good home for your tort in Hong Kong.

Link taken straight from Gov.UK on importing non-native animals:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-non-native-animals

These procedures are very expensive. The move and quarantining is stressful to both tortoises and keepers. Housing and level of care given by UK Quarantine is most likely not going to be as updated as the type of care you're currently giving your tortoise. This means any problems and medical needs as a result from outdated practices will require additional fees which you will be responsible for. Re-homing temporarily or permanently and starting all over in UK is another option.
 

Gillian M

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5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
15,021
Location (City and/or State)
Jordan
Sorry can't help you. :(

But I can welcome you to the forum!
 

Pastel Tortie

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Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
4,264
Location (City and/or State)
North Florida
All,

I need a little guidance. I am currently applying for jobs in the UK to move to my fiance. However, I have a 5 year old Red-Footed Tort who I need to travel with me. I have researched several different shipping companies who say there's no guarantee of live arrival though they try. I don't want to put him in the cargo of a plane if possible because he's not a hibernating breed.

Can you think of any way or airline that would allow me to carry him or ensure it's a heated environment for him? He's allowed in the UK, I've done the research already as has my fiance but I am now worried about getting him there. I really don't want to give him up because he's now one of my "fur babies" that I can't lose.

Thanks in advance!
I lived in the UK for about three years before returning permanently to Florida. I considered bringing three cats and a dog, and I went through the rabies vaccination and testing on this side of the pond...just in case. I didn't have any reptiles back then (although I was dealing with the reptile industry on a regular basis back then). In the end, the cats and dog were rehomed with family so they would not have to endure the stress and a long flight... Twice.
 

Pastel Tortie

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Jul 31, 2018
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My suggestions are as follows:

1. Make sure that every piece of paper you get from your veterinarian(s) has the full, complete, correct microchip number on it. Unfortunately, it isn't something that gets on the standard forms and certificates, so make sure you request it.

2. Find out from the UK how much, if anything, for a tortoise can be done here before you travel. For dogs and cats, well-documented rabies vaccination and testing (remember those microchip numbers!) can decrease the quarantine time dramatically.

3. Make sure you have a direct flight so you and your tortoise travel at the same time. Even if you have to drive 5 or 6 hours on each end to get a direct flight for the two of you together, do it.

4. Find out how your tortoise would have to be packed for international shipping by air. Get all the nitpicky little details, especially when it comes to temperatures. Find out whether international tortoise shipments travel in the cargo hold. Plan to pack it like an international shipment.

5. Check with the airlines and find out who will allow tortoises, either in the cabin or cargo hold. Ask for specifics about the available space, their requirements, and temperature / environmental conditions in the cargo hold.

6. Frankly, find out if you can buy a ticket for the tortoise so you can set the box containing the tortoise on the seat next to you in the cabin. If that's a possibility, it may be one of the least expensive options. Assume the box or carrier is sealed and not to be opened until you go through immigration.
 
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