Important Update on Pet Travel

Important Update on Pet travel in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Unfortunately, it is still possible that there will not be a Brexit deal at the end of October 2019. This has implications for the pet travel scheme. Currently, as an EU member state, pets can travel to and from the UK to another EU country under the Pet travel scheme with a pet passport. In the situation of a no deal Brexit, this arrangement will cease and a new system will have to be agreed. Hopefully any agreement will be on similar lines to the current Pet travel scheme, but there is a possibility that the UK will be categorised as an "unlisted third country" under the Pet travel scheme.

If this happens, the governement recommends that pet owners intending to travel with their pet from the UK to EU countries would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. Information regarding the the different outcomes depending on how the UK is listed under the Pet Travel Scheme after Brexit can be found by clicking this link...

What does this actually mean for pet owners now?

Pet owners will still be able to travel to Europe with their pet after the UK leaves the EU, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. However, in the event of no deal, they may need to take some additional steps to be able to travel with their pet to the EU.

  • If you have no immediate plans to travel with your pet to the EU on a specific date within 4 months of the 31st October, then there is no need to act at this stage. You can wait and see what is agreed in terms of Brexit and we will then know exactly what requirements there are in terms of pet travel.
  • If, however, you want to be certain that you can travel with your pet whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, then you need to arrange a visit for your pet at least four months before the date you wish to travel. For example, if you want to travel on 1st November 2019, you would need a visit no later than 31st July 2019.
  • The government recommendations for pet owners who wish to certain that they can travel with pets, whatever the Brexit deal is an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody. This means that should the UK be listed as a 3rd country under the pet travel scheme, your pet will be already be compliant.
  • The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of 3 months before their travel date - hence discussing travel requirements at least 4 months before your intented date of travel.
The government has published further information for pet owners on its website - you can see this by clicking this link..

We appreciate that the above may seem horribly complicated! Too summarise, if you want to be certain that you can travel with your pet on a specific date after 31st October 2019, it's best to arrange an appointment to discuss whether your pet needs a rabies vaccination and blood test. If you are unsure, the best thing is to contact us and we can advise you on your specific situation and requirements.