I am relocating to the UK next year from South Africa and would like to take my corn snakes with me. I need to know what I need to do and how to go about it please.

  • In order to ensure I did not mis-understand your question: are you interested in the logistics of the travel itself (airline related), or importing your snakes into your new country (customs and immigration)? – CGCampbell Dec 22 '17 at 15:25

As far as importing your snakes into the UK, corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) don't appear in CITES, don't appear in the EU Regulation (1143/2014) on invasive alien (non-native) species and are not listed in the Balai Directive, at least as far as I can see. So, it doesn't appear that you are going to be precluded from importing them outright.

The paperwork you'll need to fill out, however, does appear fairly extensive. The right place to start seems to be the GOV.uk's page on importing non-native animals. You will want to apply for a license to import the pet. You will also need to contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to see if you will be required to quarantine your pets for a period of time (I don't think you will, but they will be authoritative.

Best of luck to you and your snakes!

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You will need to apply for a licence to import them from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or the Scottish or Welsh Governments if you are moving to Scotland or Wales).

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  • That page doesn't seem very helpful to anyone importing animals to Northern Ireland. – phoog Dec 22 '17 at 14:47
  • I don't know for sure @phoog but would imagine that the relevant legislation may be devolved to Scotland and Wales but not to Northern Ireland. – MrAndySweet Dec 22 '17 at 14:54

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