Help! I have to quarantine my pigs in the UK for 6 months!!!


Post   » Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:46 am

Another update!

We are back from the UK. The animal sanctuary in Wales ( is amazing; its owners are utterly devoted to their 200+ animals which are mostly rescued from circuses, closed-down zoos and occasionally the wild (like an injured baby fox found recently).

Their exotic animals include a capybara (a close relation of the guinea pig), timber wolves, porcupines, capuchin monkeys, soft-shelled snapper turtles, marmosets, the list goes on and on! This week they're taking in chimps from some European zoo that kept them on pebbly cement which has given them horrific sores.

Their chinchillas, rabbits and guinea pigs are all unwanted pets. I was most impressed with their piggies which were tame, chubby (they looked like footballs) and had lovely glossy coats. I hope my 5 pigs come back looking like that--maybe quarantine will be more like a piggie spa!

Do check out this sanctuary or their website if you can. It's a lovely place to visit. One feels so much at peace surrounded by happy animals...

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Post   » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:44 am

Hey, you oughta sneak in some gp look-alikes and smuggle your piggies out.

Oh, or how about a piggy cam? Probably not practical though.

I hope for the best for your furry guys.


Post   » Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:29 pm

Hi Lynx

Yeah I wish I could find 5 stand-ins!

A piggy cam is being considered although I bet the quarantine laws rule it out!

We are constructing a transport cage for them this week so they can travel in comfort on the plane and van. The total travel time, door to door, should be 12 hours. They will take the night flight to London, arrive in the morning and be whisked away in a van to Wales. I wonder if they can start earning air miles : )

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Post   » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:45 pm

Petit, I did get your pictures and it said to put them in the galleries, and I am still way behind on the galleries. If I had known you wanted them in the thread, I would have done it for you. Your piggies are adorable. I'm sorry I misunderstood your email and I am so glad you found a wonderful place to quarantine them. They will still go into the cavy galleries when I finally get the pages ready to upload.


Post   » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:21 am

Hi ly

Sorry for my confusing email; yes I would like their pics posted in the galleries but only when it is convenient for you. Thanks in advance!

After I emailed you I realised how busy you were and thought I'd ask webs to post the picture in the thread first. I simply couldn't wait for them to make their debut!!!

I'm really dreading when they go. I don't know what can fill the vacuum that they leave. Thankfully I'll have this forum to vent my frustrations, hehe.

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Cavies 'n Cobwebs

Post   » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:31 am

Glad you've found somewhere that appears so professional, with vets on hand too in an emergency!

Aren't they heading off soon - fingers crossed...


Post   » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:24 am

Yeah they're going at the end of this month. I might delay their departure until mid-August if the sanctuary is too bogged down with getting the Portuguese monkeys in.

The sanctuary has 2 vets living just around the corner. I have asked them to consult me and this website if they are unsure about anything.

Any tips on making their travel cage comfy? I'm lining it with fleece and only giving them orchard grass in case timothy hay pokes their eyes during turbulence. I'll attach 3 pigloos to the cage (can't fit all 5, my pigloos are big). They'd probably want to huddle anyways?

I'll attach 2 water bottles for them but in case they are too petrified to drink from the bottles I will put in a small block of ice containing chopped vegetables that will become exposed as the ice melts during the flight.

Any thoughts on this arrangement?

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Post   » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:20 am

The water bottles may leak and get everything wet. I would go with lots of wet vegs.

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Cavies 'n Cobwebs

Post   » Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:25 am

Are there any stopovers or people with access to the cargo hold where the pigs are, to offer them water bottles for a time?

I know there are animal inspectors at most large airports that handle them as through traffic could maybe give them some. Hope there are no delays!


Post   » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:01 am

That's true, I think I'll omit the bottles and just freeze plenty of veg in the ice block.

The quarantine guy (the sanctuary owner) will be at Heathrow to pick them up; he will be able to feed them. Then there's a 4-hour ride in a van to Wales.

Fingers crossed indeed there are no delays.

I Love Lucy

Post   » Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:40 pm

If I'm not mistaken, you MUST include water bottles in your setup as per animal air-transport laws. When I shipped my pigs, I used a clip-on bowl on the front of the kennel right under the water bottle to catch leaks. I was also required to cover ALL open parts of the kennel (slots, wires, etc.) with burlap. I gave them blankets and lots of hay. Pigloos wouldn't fit in the kennel I had (at least not reasonably and still give the pigs room to move around).

It probably took my pigs 12+ hours to get here from NC. I think they had barely eaten and drank if at all as they had all lost nearly 50 grams from the time I sent them off to the time Zac unloaded them.

Everyone was fine though. :)

Search for my thread called "Flying with pigs". It might have details I've forgotten.

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Post   » Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:55 pm

Interesting. By the way, when Kitten flew cross country, KM had a small water bottle attached to the door of her cage. I think there was still water in it when I got her home.


Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:48 am

I spent the morning with my pet exporter, and she has confirmed that I can put vegetables in the travelling cage.

My pigs are not good with drinking from bottles (they slurp from bowls) so when they're stressed out it's even less likely that they will touch the bottles. Water bottles are not compulsory for air travel to the UK. If they are required for travel within the UK, the quarantiner will take care of that.

I'll put plenty of romaine lettuce, cucumber & green bell pepper and orchard grass hay in the cage. They'll be on fleece and newspaper.


Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:52 am

It still hasn't sunk in... My piggies left last night. The house is so quiet without them. This morning I couldn't bear to look at their pen. There's this big empty feeling in my heart.

The good news is, they've arrived at London Heathrow and are currently being checked by the vets at the airport facility called the Arc. My babies have been taken out of their travel cage and can rest a bit before continuing their journey to Wales. They should be "home" by lunchtime (UK time, that is).

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Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:11 am

Glad they've arrived safe and sound.
I know what you mean about no whelking and empty space's.


Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:26 am

Thanks dear. I miss them so much!!! And it's only Day 1; what am I going to do?

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Cavies 'n Cobwebs

Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:50 am

I'm glad they made the flight OK. I wouldn't have been able to sleep thinking about them!

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Never surrender!

Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:12 am

I know the feeling petit. Good to hear that the flight went ok! :)

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Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:26 am

I wish you well and hope you see them before long. I hope they find their adventure a positive thing.


Post   » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:46 am

Thanks for the support. I miss them so much. It was really difficult packing away their little toys and pigloos. I miss washing their veg, hearing their demanding little voices. I hope the six months fly by.

The piggies should be arriving at the animal sanctuary any moment now. After their rest at the airport vet's, they were put back in their travelling cage with new bedding, hay and yummy salad and resumed their travels.

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