Deal or No-Deal?

I’m sure most people were like me in feeling a high level of Brexit fatigue in the lead up to the 29th March when we were supposed to leave the EU in a dignified and graceful manner. It’s been jolly nice to have had a respite from all the speculations over different outcomes pending different votes. For that reason, I’m sorry to bring the subject up again in June, when we should be thinking about French Open tennis or preparing for the Henfield summer Fair next month! To be honest, when it came to Brexit, I had rather naively thought that whatever the outcome, it wouldn’t actually affect little old me much in terms of my day to day life. The dog is still going poo on the lawn after coming back from a walk, treading on Lego in bare feet is still going to be just as painful and co-op users in Partridge Green are still going to use the practice car park (sorry for the little gripe there!). Hard, soft, well done or rare, I didn’t think the details of Brexit would filter down to affect the minutiae of life.

 However, what I hadn’t really considered was a no-deal Brexit and it wasn’t until this became a distinct possibility that the ramifications of this came to light in the form of a barrage of updates from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) which while it might sound like something out of Harry Potter is a real organisation with many functions, one of which is to deal with all things relating to Pet Travel.

 It turns out that a no-deal Brexit could have serious implications for pet travel. One would hope that come the 31st of October, some sort of deal will have been reached. However, politically unaware as I am, given the lack of progress over the past 3 years, it is probably worth giving these implications a thought! If you are considering travelling with your pet after 31st October, you should be aware of the following:

 Under the current Pet travel scheme, any dog or cat can travel to another country within the pet travel scheme 3 weeks after a rabies vaccination has been given. (They will also need to have a microchip and have been issued with a pet passport). In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK could be unceremoniously kicked out of the Pet Travel scheme and end up as an unlisted 3rd country for the purposes of Pet travel. If this happens, the rules change quite dramatically. A rabies vaccine, microchip and passport are still mandatory, but in addition, a rabies blood test is required 30 days or more after the rabies vaccine, and the dog or cat must demonstrate sufficient antibody levels to rabies. For best results the blood test is ideally performed as close to 30 days after the vaccine as possible. Furthermore, travel is not permitted until 3 months after the rabies blood test was performed.

 Confused? Don’t be embarrassed! The upshot is that if you know you definitely want to be able to travel with your pet regardless of the outcome of Brexit (especially if your trip is on the 4 months after 31st October) - (1st November –  29th February), then you should prepare for the worst and have a rabies vaccine around 4.5 months before you wish to travel and a blood test 30 days later. You’ll then be able to travel with your pet 3 months after the blood test regardless of the outcome of Brexit. If you do wish to / need to travel in the affected months, then the best bet is to give us a call and we can give you specific advice on your plans.

 My advice? Try not to book any pet related trips outside the UK in the 4 months after the 31st October and wait and see what happens! I’ve heard that the Isle of Wight is especially nice in January – you can guarantee the best spot on the beach!