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Travelling to Shetland with pets

by Promote Shetland -

If you’re making the move to Shetland with pets, or planning a holiday, you’ll probably have questions about how to transport them. Here’s what you need to know…

Pets from the UK can travel freely to Shetland with no restrictions as they are covered under UK law. If you are bringing a pet to Shetland from outside the UK, however, you must comply with government guidelines.

Taking pets to Shetland by ferry

There are daily ferries to Shetland from Aberdeen, operated by NorthLink. Animals are allowed on board, housed either in your own vehicle or in the ferry’s kennels.

Some passengers choose to keep their dogs in their car overnight, because they feel the animal will be less stressed in familiar surroundings, but it is a matter of personal choice and where you feel your pet will be most comfortable.

If you opt for a kennel, these need to be booked in advance and are available in two sizes. There are four large kennels (800mm width x 1400mm depth x 1000mm height) and nine small (500mm width x 700mm depth x 600mm height). The kennel room is heated and ventilated and there is a water supply for filling the animal’s water bowl. Passengers are asked to supply their own bowls for food and water during the journey. They must also provide a blanket or basket for their animal to sleep on.

With the exception of support dogs, animals are not allowed in the internal public areas, including cabins. Access to the kennels during the voyage is restricted, although passengers may visit pets in the kennels during the voyage, subject to operational requirements and weather conditions. Usually if you talk to a crew member they’ll do everything they can to accommodate your request.

If you are planning to transport any animals bigger than a large dog to Shetland, such as a horse, pony or alpaca (!), then NorthLink’s freight services can assist you.

It’s worth noting that you can send animals to Shetland unaccompanied, too. Read more about unaccompanied pet travel on the NorthLink website.

To book your pet travel to Shetland, contact NorthLink Ferries reservations on 0845 6000 449 (calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge). Or you can book directly online at www.northlinkferries.co.uk

If you are planning to transport any animals bigger than a large dog to Shetland, such as a horse, pony or alpaca, then NorthLink’s freight services can assist you.

Travelling to Shetland with pets by flight

Flights to Shetland are operated by Scottish airline Loganair. Cats and dogs may be carried as unaccompanied baggage and must travel in the hold, unless an assistance dog. Pet carriage one way is £50.

The pet checks-in with you at the passenger terminal and re-joins you on arrival in the baggage hall at the destination airport. You are responsible for putting your pet in a suitably approved container. For more details on pet container requirements, view this downloadable PDF from Loganair.

To book your pet’s carriage, you will be asked to complete a form at the airport and hand it to a Loganair travel agent at the terminal. You must also make sure you carry your pet’s vaccination certificates and any necessary transit permits or documents (for pets travelling from outside the UK) when you travel. View and download the pet carriage form.

Sadly, puppies under 12 weeks old cannot travel. Loganair also cannot accept rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats etc), rabbits, chickens, reptiles (snakes, turtles etc) as either carry-on or checked/accompanied baggage or cargo.

If you have any queries, or special travel requests, call the Loganair call centre on 0344 800 2855 (Mon-Fri 0800-1800, Sat 0800-1200, Sun 1400-1800).

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