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The Pet Passport After Brexit

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  • If you are looking to travel to any EU country in November 2019, the government has advised that you should apply to do so as early as now (June 2009)
  • Currently, pets such as Cats, Dogs and Ferrets can travel within the EU quickly and easily under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
  • This will soon change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. To travel to an EU country, you will need to ensure your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You will need to do this by contacting your vet 4 months before you travel.
  • 30 days after the rabies vaccine, a blood test is required to make sure this has worked successfully. You then need to wait 3 months before your pet can travel to an EU country.
  • An Animal Health Certificate needs to be obtained by you 10 days before you travel.
  • After Brexit, the UK could potentially become a “listed” third country which would enable pets to travel to the EU under the Pet Travel Scheme.
  • In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would become an “unlisted” third country and strict rules listed above would apply. This would mean extra planning for up to four months in advance to enable your pet to travel.

What’s happens with Pet Passports at the moment?

Since the UK are currently a member of the EU, dogs, cats and ferrets are allowed to travel with their owners on holiday to France, Spain, Italy and other EU countries. They can do this under the Pet Travel Scheme without the need to spend time in quarantine before hand. To be eligible to travel under this scheme, your pet will need to be vaccinated against rabies and microchipped. They will also need to be treated for tapeworm. Depending on where in the EU you are travelling to, your pet may require additional health checks if there are other health risks in that area. If your pet is considered healthy and fit to travel, you will be issued with a pet passport from your vet and you are able to go on holiday within 21 days. Your dog will need to visit a vet for a tapeworm treatment between one and five days before travelling home to the UK if they have visited an EU country which is not free from tapeworm. Your pets passport will be valid for the life of your pet, as long as they continue to get vaccinated and get a rabies booster when needed. Read about current rules for taking your dog on holiday within the EU here.

Will my pet be able to travel to the EU if there is a no deal Brexit?

It would be safe to assume that dogs will still be able to travel between the UK and the EU after Brexit since they can currently travel to the EU from other countries outside. The restrictions that will be put in place will depend on what sort of deal is arranged by the British government. For the purposes of pet travel legislation then, when the UK is no longer a part of the EU, it becomes what is called a “third country”. These third countries are split into three categories. The first is called “part one, listed” and the second is called “part two, listed”, and the third is “unlisted”. In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK government has issued advice stating that the UK will become an unlisted third country. Further arrangements are likely to be put in place for the UK to become listed. Below is what the three different categories would mean for pets: Unlisted In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK would become an unlisted third country. This would mean the requirements for taking pets on holiday would change significantly from the current arrangements. Pet owners would need to start off the process for taking their pet on holiday at least four months before the date they would like to travel. In the event of a no deal, extra measures will be put in place as a precaution to prove dogs are not a rabies threat. These would be:
  • Further evidence of rabies vaccination. At present, pets will need a rabies vaccination before they are able to travel. In the event of a no deal, they will also need a specific blood test (called a titre test) as evidence that the vaccine has provided the required protection from the disease.
  • Planning earlier for a trip - This titre test needs to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after the rabies vaccination. If the test result is satisfactory, pets would still need to wait three months after the date of the blood test to ensure they have no symptoms of the disease.
  • Health certificates - The owner will need to be issued with a health certificate confirming requirements by the vet who carried out the vaccination and titre test. This certificate will be valid from 10 days after the date of issue and for four months for onward travel within the EU. You would require a new health certificate to be issued by your vet for each trip to the EU 10 days before travel.
On entry to the EU - Dog owners would need to report to a Travellers’ Point of Entry with their pet and with the official documentation of microchip, blood test, vaccination and health certificate. If your pet is already vaccinated against rabies, there is no need for additional vaccination but they would require a titre test and the following three-month waiting time. Your pet will not need to be tested again if they are already vaccinated against rabies and have also already had the titre test. The current government advice to anyone wishing to take their dog on holiday to EU countries on or before the 31 October 2019 is to contact their vet by the end of June 2019 to allow sufficient time. Listed country If the UK Government can come to an arrangement with the EU that would enable the UK to be a listed country, there would be little or no disruption to the current procedure for taking your dog on holiday. There are two types of listed country arrangements, which are: Part one listed If the UK became a part one listed country, there would be no change to the current health checks your dog needs, but the documentation would differ slightly. This is because part one listed countries operate under the same Pet Travel Scheme rules as countries that are members of the EU. Part two listed Part two listed countries will require dogs and other pets to have additional health check certificates and owners have to meet additional requirements. Your vet would need to issue you with a health certificate stating that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies. This health certificate is a different document to the rabies certification document that is required under the PETS pet passport. The document would be valid for 10 days after the date of entering the EU, and then for four months of travelling within the EU. When you arrive in the EU, you would still have to visit a Travellers’ Point of Entry with your pet and show an official proof of your pet’s microchip, health certificates and vaccinations before being allowed to travel further. You would need to get a new health certificate issued for each trip you make to the EU.

What does ‘no deal notice’ mean?

At present, the government is issuing helpful ‘no-deal notices’ on relevant topics, policies and everyday situations to advise what might happen in the event that the UK leaves the European Union with a no deal Brexit. These warnings are designed to help businesses and the general public understand how this might affect them and allow them to plan for what the impact may be. For the latest information, visit the government website.

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