Please be aware this article was originally published in November 2018. As of late March 2019, the official Brexit date has been extended from 29 March to 12 April 2019, so please treat references to 29 March accordingly.
As it stands, no one is sure of the potential outcome of the Brexit negotiations, but there is a chance that the current Pet Passport scheme may no longer be enough for clients to travel with their pets after 29th March 2019.
Some of the potential outcomes, outlined below, bring with them the possibility of additional requirements before pets are allowed to travel.
Are you planning to go abroad after 29th March 2019?
If you plan to go abroad with your pet in the first four months after Britain’s exit from the European Union, we would recommend taking additional steps to ensure your pet can travel with you, and to do this means additional tests and paperwork to reduce the risk of your travel plans being disrupted.
Planning to take your pet abroad after 29 March (or in general)?
Give us a call to book in for a Travel Clinic – 01435 864422.
Brexit and its effects on The Pet Travel Scheme
When Britain leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 there are three potential outcomes for the UK to be ‘listed’ with regard to pets travelling abroad. Each of these options has different consequences for your pets, so it is worth considering their impact on your travel plans.
Potential Outcome 1
The UK becomes a Part 1 listed country
If the UK ends up as a Part 1 listed country then the pet travel scheme will remain largely as it currently is. This will mean very little change for pet owners, and would be the ideal situation.
Potential Outcome 2
The UK becomes a Part 2 listed country
If the UK ends up as a Part 2 listed country then all the current passport regulations would still apply, but any pets you would like to travel with would also need a Model Health Certificate (MHC) to travel.
The current expectation is that the Model Health Certificate will have to be issued at least 21 days after a Rabies Vaccination, and within 10 days of travel. The certificate would then remain valid for four months for travel within the EU. Please note that according to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, “if the UK becomes a Part 2 or unlisted third country pet owners would need to obtain a new MHC each time they wish to take their pet from the UK to the EU.”
Potential Outcome 3
The UK becomes an Unlisted country
This is the potential outcome that has the most additional requirements for travel. These are
- A blood sample would need to be taken a minimum of 30 days after the Rabies vaccination
- The blood sample would need to be sent off for an antibody titer test at an approved laboratory. If this shows sufficient antibodies, a certificate is issued. If not, the pet would need to have another Rabies vaccination and the blood testing process would begin again.
- The pet would not be able to travel without the certificate, and there has to be a 3 month gap between the blood test and the date of travel. Pets would not be allowed to travel before this 3 month gap had elapsed.
- The pet would also require a Model Health Certificate
- The pet would have to enter the EU via a designated travellers point of entry, and this location has not yet been specified.
This potential outcome means that you would need to see us at least 4 months before you wish to travel in order to get the documentation and testing needed done in time. This would mean the end of November 2018 for trips taking place at the end of March 2019.
Currently, all of the above outcomes are possible and should be considered when you are making plans to go abroad with your pet.
Carrying out the rabies blood sampling should be seriously considered if you would like to take your pets abroad with you after Brexit, so it may be sensible to have the blood test carried out in case we become an unlisted country (potential outcome 3). There is, of course, the risk that this will be carried out and then the UK becomes a Part 1 or 2 listed country, and then it was unnecessary.
Just bear in mind that if plans are not made now for the scenario where we become an unlisted country, you may find that you need to arrange boarding kennels at the last minute for your pet while you are away.
More information can be found on the gov.uk website.
As ever, if you have any queries about pet passports or would like to book in for a Travel Clinic, please call us on 01435 864422.