Animal Reception Centre for your fur babies – There is more than just Heathrow Animal Reception Centre for your fur babies

London Heathrow Airport plane landing

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The UK is and always has been one of our most popular, desired destinations for pet travel. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the monumental effect it has had on air travel worldwide, it seems to be one of the more difficult countries to ship pets to recently. London Heathrow airport in England is a popularly requested airport by many of our clients immigrating to the UK with their fur babies, but there are some obstacles in our way when it comes to shipping fur babies to London Heathrow airport as all fur babies will have to process via the animal travel station – Heathrow Animal Reception Centre or HARC for short.

With only one HARC facility in London and a limited amount of space, HARC has now limited the number of animals they can accept in one day and will not be accepting dog and cat shipments on weekends unless under exceptional circumstances. Each flight will be restricted to 5-7 animals. However, it is important to note that the total number of animals for the day will have to be taken into account, and if HARC is over-capacitated, shipments will not be accepted. Larger animals will be considered, but pre-notification will have to be given at least 21 days before travel. (This does not mean the shipment is guaranteed as shipments already pre-notified will be accepted, but HARC will do their best to accommodate all animals depending on space availability.) HARC will only accept pre-notification from airlines, and there will be no time limit to the pre-notification period.

We will make a continuous effort to provide regular updates as things change so quickly in the pet industry each week. With that being said, we are trying to work within these constraints to find alternative airports for families to collect their fur babies from that parents can take into account:

  • London Gatwick Airport – will process both commercial and non-commercial shipments. However, an important note is that Emirates is the only airline that can accept live animals, but they are more costly and, unfortunately, do not accept snub-nosed breeds.
  • Manchester Airport – does not process commercial shipments, which means all fur babies traveling to Manchester will have to fly within 5 days of the pet owner or a designated travel buddy.

Unfortunately, not all airlines accept all types of breeds of dogs and cats, which means the plan for your travel routing, destination, and cost may vary during your immigration planning process. These industry changes are out of our hands, and as such, we recommend that you work with your consultant to have alternative plans for fur babies if your fur kids cannot travel on the set date and routing you may have been hoping for.

Please know that this will not last forever, and we are hopeful that things will go back to the “norm,” but for right now, we will keep you in the know and up-to-date with all information to the best of our ability. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please pop us a message via our WhatsApp Business line – 063 971 6547, and we will assist in any way we can.


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