This page covers the requirements when travelling with a Savannah cat in the EU and the information relates to all wild cat hybrids (see list).
There are special rules relating to the Savannah cat in respect of the European (EU) pet travel scheme. This is because the Savannah cat is a wild cat hybrid.
There were some changes to the EU pet travel scheme on 29 December 2014. I won’t go into the changes here because they are quite extensive but the scheme that people know about remains essentially the same and it can be looked up on the Internet. I briefly cover it at the end of this article.
A new EU regulation (law) created a clearer definition of ‘cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘ferret’. The only species to which the pet travel scheme relates are the domestic dog, the domestic cat in the ferret. The reason for this clarification of definition is to make sure that wild animals are not transported under the EU pet travel scheme.
The wild cat hybrid is a difficult pet to classify because from the perspective of the authorities and scientists the cat falls between wild and domestic and if your pet is a wild cat hybrid such as a Bengal cat or Savannah cat and indeed the Wolfdog, the pet owner has to seek advice from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency before travelling. Incidentally, this complication with the high filial wild cats is found in America too with respect to creating laws to deal with them fairly.
I sought advice on this matter on the telephone by calling the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 03702411710. The helpline is open from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday to Friday and closed on bank holidays.
The lady who provided me with telephone advice, Evelyn, was very clear and confident and stated that the pet travel scheme relates to F3 (third filial) Savannah cats downwards (F3-f5 and lower) but does not apply to F1 and F2 Savannah cats. It is up to the veterinarian who issues the pet passport to assess whether the cat is an F1 or F2 and of course the registration documents from the breeder will clearly indicate what filial the cat is.
Accordingly, you can see that the application of the European pet travel scheme depends on the amount of wild blood in the Savannah cat, or indeed any other wild cat hybrid (and there are many nowadays).
The F1 and F2 wild cat hybrids are treated as wild cats and therefore the owner of these cats would have to seek a licence from the authorities who deal with the importation and transportation of any wild species and I will leave it to that person to investigate this as it is beyond the remit of this article.
EU Pet Travel Scheme in Brief Outline
When a person enters or returns to the UK from another EU or non-EU listed country their pet needs to meet with the requirements under this scheme which includes a microchip, a rabies vaccination, a pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate and, for dogs only, a tapeworm treatment certificate. An approved transport company and approved route must be used unless the person is travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
A veterinarian will issue the required papers.
When a pet and their owner enters the UK from an unlisted country an additional document is required which is a blood test. The veterinarian must take a blood sample 30 days after the rabies vaccination. In addition, dogs need to receive a tapeworm treatment. The pet owner has to wait three calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before travelling.
This is it in outline only and travellers are advised to go to the government website’s relevant page and to proceed from that point onwards.
Associated: the law on owning a wild cat hybrid in the UK.