Here is the e-mail I recevied from DEFRA, basically a rehash of the forgoing info - but clearly expressed
[quote]Option 1 - Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
For an animal to enter (or return to) the UK as part of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) and thus avoid quarantine, the following procedures must be carried out in the stated order:
1). Animal is micro-chipped, then
2). It is vaccinated against rabies, and then
3). A blood sample is taken and sent to a European Union (EU) approved laboratory for testing. If the required level of antibodies is reached, the animal may enter the UK 6 calendar months after the date that the sample was drawn, assuming that all other rules of the scheme are met.
Please note that steps 2 and 3 above must be carried out in a PETS listed country (of which Taiwan is one) and that your pets must remain within PETS listed countries. Entry into an unlisted country would mean your pets could no longer be deemed UK PETS compliant and all PETS preparations (with the exception of the microchip) would have to be started again, whilst in a listed country.
Further to this, pets must be treated against ticks and tapeworm not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before checking in with a PETS authorised carrier (on a PETS approved route), for the journey that brings your pets into the UK.
For further information on how to prepare your pets for export to the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), including documentary requirements and approved routes and carriers, please see the link below:
defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/p … owners.htm
Option 2 - Quarantine
Under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and other Mammals) Order 1974 (as amended) all dogs, cats and other mammals must be licensed into quarantine for six months on arrival in the United Kingdom. The only exception is when animals enter under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) where they have to comply with all the requirements of the Scheme.
An import licence is required (from this Department) for dogs and cats not complying with PETS. We will not issue the licence until we have confirmation from your chosen quarantine premises and carrying agent that they will house and transport the animal on its arrival into the UK. You can find details of quarantine procedures and a list of authorised quarantine premises and carrying agents on the Defra website at defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/p … /index.htm .
Please note that all expenses in connection with the landing, transit, quarantine and vaccination of your animals are solely for agreement between you and the quarantine premises and carrying agent concerned. With regard to your specific question on the requirement to vaccinate and/or microchip this will be at the discretion of the quarantine premises chosen and will be based on the degree to which your pets have already been prepared for travel.
Option 3 - Combination of PETS and Quarantine (“Early Release”)
There is a third option that you may wish to consider which enables early release from Quarantine. To qualify for “Early Release” an animal must be fully qualified for PETS, except that the six months since the blood sample was drawn has not yet fully elapsed.
As an example (and providing all other rules of PETS are met), if a blood sample were drawn on 1st January 2010, an animal would qualify for entry into the UK as part of PETS on 30th June 2010. If you then brought the animal into the UK on 1st April 2010, it would enter quarantine normally, but would only remain there until the six months since the blood sample was drawn has elapsed, i.e. 30th June 2010. This is provided the animal has been prepared in the correct order for PETS.