As with nearly everything Brexit related, it’s pretty uncertain what will happen with pet travel from the UK to the EU. To help cut through the Jargon here’s the possible options.
There are 3 ways it can go for the UK when we leave the EU, If the UK makes a deal with the EU, there will be a transition period where we should still operate under the EU pet passport. If this happens future changes will be made a lot clearer during the transition period. The worst case for travelling with our pets is a no deal Brexit. (The third option below is the most likely in the event of a no deal Brexit)
Option number 1
The first option (which is the best possible outcome for pet travel) is to become a “part 1 listed country” basically this would mean there is very little change to how things work now. There would just be some minor changes to the documentation required. The important thing to note is there would be no change for pet owners in what they need to do in terms of health preparations.
Option number 2
The second option is a “part 2 listed country” and things get a little more complicated here. Before travelling from the UK to the EU for the first time after the UK leaves the EU you would have to take your pet to an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least 21 days in advance. (Most vet practices should have an Official Vet by the way, double check they can issue Animal health certificates to be sure). The OV would ensure your pet has a microchip and rabies vaccination. Pet owners would need the OV to issue an animal health certificate confirming the pet was appropriately identified and vaccinated against rabies. This document would differ from the current EU pet passport, it would be valid for ten days after the date of issue for entry into the EU, for four months of onward travel within the EU and for entry back into the UK within 4 months.
Unfortunately an animal health certificate would have to be issued for each trip to the EU.
Option number 3
The last option is “Unlisted third country” and sorry, but it gets more complicated again. Should the UK become an unlisted third country, pet owners intending to travel with their pet from the UK to EU countries would need to discuss preparation with an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least four months in advance of their travel dates. In this situation pets would be required to have a blood titre test conducted to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibodies, this has to happen at least 30 days after any rabies vaccination. Once a blood titre test shows sufficient antibodies there must be a 3-month waiting period between when the blood is drawn and the travel dates. In a worst case scenario pets would need to get a rabies vaccination, wait 30 days to have a blood titre test and then a further 3 months waiting period before travel.
The blood titre test will only have to be taken once in your pets life assuming their rabies vaccinations stay up to date. (Which is a small bit of good news)
What happens when my pet and I arrive in the EU?
On Arrival in the EU, you and your pet would be required to report to a designated “Travellers’ point of Entry” or TPE. At the TPE you will be asked to present:
- Proof of Microchip
- Blood test results
- Your pets health certificate.
A few helpful tips to remember:
- Your animal health certificate is only valid for entry into the EU for 10 days after the date of issue
- After you enter the EU, you can travel within the EU for up to 4 months after the date of issue.
- You must re-enter the UK within 4 months of the date of issue.
- Animal health certificates will need to be issued every time your pet travels to the EU.
- If travelling to Finland, Republic of Ireland or Malta your pet must have treatment against tapeworm 1-5 days before arriving on one of those countries. The official name for tapeworm is Echinococcus multilocularis. Make sure your Official Veterinarian (OV) enters this on your pets health certificate.
- If you are travelling home to the UK after being in a country not free of tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) you must also have treatment 1-5 days before entering the UK. Basically you need to do this when returning from every country apart from Finland, Republic of Ireland and Malta.
Please remember this is only guidance and if you are travelling with your pet, especially in the coming months make sure to visit your vet to find out how to best prepare. Another little annoying nuance, Northern Ireland is slightly different. We will write a post on this in the next few days.
There is a very useful (free to use) pet travel helpline you can ring or email for any extra or help:
Call: 0370 241 1710 – Lines are open Monday – Friday 08:30am – 05:00pm (Closed on Bank Holidays)
If we can help with anything at all, send us an email – email@example.com