As the UK prepares to leave the EU in March this year, DEFRA has issued a recent update on how various deal possibilities could affect the rules around pet travel in the EU.
As a result, owners intending to travel with their pets need to be aware of a few potential extra hurdles which need addressing prior to their journey.
Firstly, it is worth considering if any holidays to EU countries around the time of 29th March 2019 could be rescheduled or if it’s possible to make contingency plans for your pets to be looked after in the UK if necessary. This will allow us to give advice with more certainty closer to the time over exactly which steps need taking prior to travel.
DEFRA have proposed that 2 out of the 3 scenarios of the UK leaving the EU would involve an extra certificate to be issued by your vet in the 10 days prior to travel. This would be essential to enable travel to another EU country, and would be valid for up to 4 months of ongoing travel once in the EU. A certificate would need issuing before each time of travel, unlike the current situation where a pet passport would allow travel without seeing a UK vet first providing the rabies vaccination is up to date.
It is also possible that all pets travelling to the EU would need a blood test to prove that their rabies vaccine has given them an appropriate level of protection, with an accompanying certificate. Pets would not be able to travel out of the UK for at least 3 months after this blood test (which can only be done 30 days after the Rabies vaccine is given). This means that we are asking all owners intending to travel around Spring 2019 who do not wish to run the risk of travel plans falling through to contact us urgently to arrange this test at least 4 months prior to travelling.
If you are planning to travel this year, then due to the current level of uncertainty surrounding the UK leaving the EU, and the short timescales involved to organise the certificates, please keep checking in with us prior to travel to get the most up to date information we have. We will post information as we receive it on our Facebook page and website and will send emails with updates. Please make sure our email address is saved as a contact so that it doesn’t get filtered by spam filters.
Pet Passports – Entering the UK Pre 29th March 2019
You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat, dog or ferret on the Pet Passports scheme if he/she:
1. Has been microchipped.
2. Has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate.
3. Has been vaccinated against rabies and a period of 21 days has elapsed since vaccination. He/she will also need a blood test if you’re travelling from an ‘unlisted country’.
Dogs must also have a tapeworm treatment no less than 24 and no more than 120 hours before travelling back to the UK.
Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months or even refused entry if you don’t follow these rules. As a result you would be responsible for any associated fees or charges.
All of our vets are Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) certified Official Veterinarians or OV’s. This means they are allowed to complete and certify pet passports. For more details and pricing please call the practice to talk to us.
Check out the latest Gov.UK advice here.