Live Animals Index
British Airways World Cargo has many years' experience in transporting live animals. Our personnel handle animal shipments everyday and pride themselves in taking as much care of them as you would yourself. All live animal shipments are handled in full compliance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Most animals can be transported by air. The only limitation is the size of the cargo hold. Larger animals, such as horses and cattle, can be carried on one of our freighter services. However, on our passenger services, due to the size of the cargo hold, we carry smaller animals such as cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and tropical fish.
For more information on the transportation of large animals on our freighter network, contact your local British Airways World Cargo office. Further information can also be found on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website at www.iata.org/animals and on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website at www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/index.htm
The UK animal transporter authorisation (reference UK/REIGA/T2/00003654) permits British Airways to carry livestock.
Pet Travel Bookings
British Airways World Cargo highly recommends the professional and very experienced services of a Pet Travel Agent if you are considering transporting your pet overseas. Not only can they take care of bookings, documentation, veterinary requirements and travel containers, they can also arrange for your pet to be collected from your home and delivered at the destination as well.
Whilst British Airways World Cargo does not recommend a specific Pet Travel Agent you may wish to contact either your local Pet Travel Agent or one of the following who can make all the booking arrangements directly with British Airways World Cargo on your behalf.
Airpets Heathrow +44 (0) 1753 685571 www.airpets.com
AirSupply Shipping +44 (0)1753-689365 www.passportforpets.co.uk/
JCS Livestock +44 (0) 1753 682244 www.jamescargo.com
Ladyhaye +44 (0)1342 832161 www.petravelagent.com/
Par Air +44 (0) 1206 330332 www.parair.co.uk
PBS International +44 (0) 1293 551140 www.shipyourpet.com/
Petair UK +44 (0) 1725 551124 www.petairuk.com
Pet Exports Ltd +44 (0) 208 3845020 www.petexports.co.uk/
Pinehawk Livestock Shippers +44 (0) 1223 290249 www.pinehawkkennels.org.uk/
Ryslip Group Ltd +44 (0)1344 424144 www.ryslip.com/
Whitelea Skydogs +44 (0) 1909 725300 www.skydogsco.uk
In the USA, contact the Pets Passport desk at 888-578-4806
In Canada, contact British Airways World Cargo at:
For all other countries please contact your local British Airways World Cargo office.
Making your booking and taking your flight
The DEFRA Export Section (Dogs and Cats) will advise you of the current documentation and vaccination requirements for your destination. We will also require a health certificate from your vet to show that your pet is fit for air travel (this must be issued within 10days).
When you make your booking you will need to let your travel agent or British Airways booking representative know that you will be travelling with a pet.
Your pet will not be able to check in with you but will be handled professionally by British Airways World Cargo, a cargo booking will be required which can be requested through the local British Airways World Cargo booking office.
On the day of travel, deliver your pet to the British Airways World Cargo Office. The travel container will be checked and the appropriate charges collected. Please check local payment options when making your booking.
The cost of flying your pet with British Airways
Charges differ for pets depending on the size of container, weight of your pet and distance being travelled. Cargo charges will be quoted at the time of reconfirming your pets travel with British Airways World Cargo (maximum 14 days prior to travel).
Additional handling, local government and customs clearance charges may apply at the origin or destination, please contact your local British Airways World Cargo office to find out more.
Pet Travel Scheme
You take care of the preparations, we will look after your pets.
British Airways is part of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), commonly known as the Pet's Passport.
PETS allows cats and dogs from any country to enter the UK without the need to go through quarantine, as long as they meet certain conditions. It also allows people in the UK to take their pet cats and dogs away to these countries and bring them back with no quarantine restrictions, again as long as certain conditions are met.
If you require any further information on PETS you can either contact your government-authorised Veterinary Surgeon (vet) or refer to the list of useful contacts.
Pet Travel Scheme Rules
The pet travel rules changed on 1 January 2012. For more information on the United Kingdom entry requirements, please refer to the information on the DEFRA travelling with pets webpage.
Please note - you will be asked to sign a Form of Indemnity to cover British Airways against any costs arising from your pet not passing the PETS checks on arrival and having to go into quarantine
On arriving into London
You will be required to pass through the normal passenger arrivals processes (Immigration Control and HM Customs) and then collect your pet from the Animal Reception Centre. These can be found:
At Heathrow Airport - Animal Reception Centre, Beacon Road, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 3JF (Beacon Road is located off Sanctuary Road on the Southern Airport Perimeter Road). c/o JCS sServices Livestock +44 (0) 1753 682244
At Gatwick - Animal Reception Centre, Cargo Forecourt Road, Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, RH6 0SQ (located off the Airport Perimeter Road North and Cargo Road).c/o Animal Aircare +44 (0) 1293 555580
The clearance time for pets from EU countries will be completed about 2 hours after your time of arrival but will take longer for pets arriving from non-EU countries due to additional HM Customs clearances.
If transiting through London to one of the following British Airways UK destinations, Aberdeen (ABZ), Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), Manchester (MAN) or Newcastle (NCL) your pet can travel on a single booking from the origin point to the final destination where your pet will be Customs cleared on arrival.
If transiting through London to another British Airways UK destination, your pet must be Customs cleared at the first point of entry to the UK and separate arrangements made for onward travel. Please ask your pet travel agent or British Airways World Cargo booking office for details.
Pet Container size requirements
Please click here for a printable guide and the IATA Live Animal Regulations
Please click here to open kennel calculator app
Please note the following essential points.
Minimum requirement for cats ex USA and Canada is a series 200 kennel.
(200 series = 27" x 20" x 19", 68cm x 50cm x 48cm)
Minimum requirement for snub nosed dogs and cats is a 10% larger container than the minimum.
The container must be strong enough to protect your pet during transport, be secure enough to contain it and have sufficient ventilation on all four sides, to ensure the air quality in the container will not deteriorate.
The door must be secured in such a manner that it will not open accidentally or your pet cannot open it during handling and transport.
Your pet's nose and paws should not be able to fit through any ventilation opening or door mesh.
The container must have a water pot and a food container accessible from the outside.
The water pot must be secured and in proportion to the size of the pet but not take up too much of the floor space.
Fibreboard, wire mesh and wicker containers are not suitable for air transportation.
These dimension are minimum internal dimensions, please allow extra room if you are placing a blanket or bedding into the kennel. Pets must be able to stand , sit erect without touching the top of the kennel.
Travelling with Guide Dogs or Assistance Dogs
If you need to travel with your service animal it must be compliant with the Pet Travel Scheme and can only travel in the aircraft cabin on specified DEFRA approved routes. For travel, into the UK, in the cabin, your first point of entry must be either London Heathrow or London Gatwick.
This is what you need to do to prepare your Guide Dog/Assistance Dog for travel:
Bring a dog car safety harness or equivalent to secure your dog during take off and landing (a collar and lead will not be acceptable for this)
On longhaul flights, we suggest you bring a fleece/vet bed for your dog
You need to contact DEFRA, who require a faxed copy of all relevant documentation prior to travel
Refer to the government website of the country to which you're travelling for any additional entry requirements or documentation that may need completing
Contact British Airways at least seven days prior to travel to notify us that you wish to travel with a Guide Dog/Assistance Dog
Check-in for your flight at an airport check-in desk in order to complete travel documentation and formalities prior to going through airport security
For further information about travelling with Guide Dogs/Assistance Dogs visit www.guidedogs.org.uk
If you do not meet all of these requirements your dog may still be transported, as cargo, in the aircraft hold as explained in the general Pet Travel Scheme information.
Frequently asked questions
Q Can I transport any other types of animals under the PETS scheme?
A No. The PETS scheme applies only to domestic cats and dogs.
Q How do I prepare my pet for travel?
A Prior to your journey you should give your pet only a light meal and the opportunity to urinate and defecate before it is placed in its container.
Q How does my pet travel?
A During the flight your pet will be stored in the plane's hold, where it will be safe and secure in a temperature controlled environment. The hold is unlit as our experience shows that pets quickly settle down and travel better in the dark.
Q How can I be certain that my pet will be allowed back into the UK?
A Provided that your pet complies with the pre-entry requirements described earlier there should be no difficulties when it comes to re-entry. However it is also advisable to have your vet check that the microchip is readable, as sometimes these migrate around the body.
Q How will you manage Guide Dogs for the blind and Assistance Dogs for the deaf and disabled?
A Guide Dogs for the blind and Assistance Dogs for the deaf and disabled may be carried in the cabin on all UK Domestic routes. Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs travelling under PETS may travel in the cabin of the aircraft on certain international routes. On all other routes they will travel as cargo into London, in the aircraft hold, which requires delivery to BAWC on departure and collection from the Animal Reception Centre on arrival in London. A Guide Dog or Assistance Dog will only be allowed to accompany its owner in the cabin of the aircraft if it has been trained and certified by an organisation that is a registered member of Assistance Dogs (UK), International Guide Dog Federation, Assistance Dog International, or Assistance Dog Europe.
The following Assistance Dog Organisations are registered members of Assistance Dogs (UK):
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
Dogs for the Disabled
The following contacts should be able to help you with any questions you may have:
Pets Travel Scheme (PETS)
Helpline: +44 (0) 870 241 1710
(Lines open Monday to Friday 08.00 to 18.00). Closed Bank Holidays
Fax: +44 (0) 1245 458749
PRODUCTS - Pet Transportation Request Form (North America Only)
To ship your pet, please fill out the Pet Transportation Form below. If you have questions about pet transportation, please see the detailed description on our Live Animal Product page.