How might Brexit affect travelling with your pet?

As if you haven’t heard enough about Brexit and perhaps there are bigger Brexit issues than how it might affect pet travel to and from Europe. However whatever happens with Brexit, at some point a decision will be made as to whether the current EU pet passport scheme will continue and if not what the new arrangements will be. 

Currently dogs, cats and ferrets can travel to and from Europe with an EU pet passport. The passport contains some basic owner and pet details and critically, confirms the microchip number of the pet and that it has been vaccinated against rabies. 

Britain has already said it will continue to accept EU Pet Passports for animals entering the UK, what’s not clear is what the EU will accept from us after Brexit. It is entirely possible, if some sort of deal is struck, that the pet passport scheme will continue in its current form and nothing much will change (the French rarely check pet passports for animals entering from the UK as there are few biosecurity implications for them for animals coming from our shores). However we may find ourselves temporarily without an agreed arrangement from the European side and have to resort to fulfilling the requirements of an ‘unlisted third country’. In this worst case scenario pets will need to have a blood test performed at least 30 days after their most recent rabies vaccination  to confirm that the pet has formed an adequate immune response to the vaccine. There is then a 3 month wait from the date of the blood test before you can travel with your pet. This process could therefore take a minimum of 4 months so some significant forward planning is required. An additional animal health certificate would also need to be issued by your vet to be fully compliant.  

A more likely scenario is that after Brexit, Britain will eventually be classed as a ‘Class 1 listed country’ in which case existing pet passport rules will suffice although a UK pet passport would be issued replacing the EU pet passport. 

If you haven’t fallen asleep already and are still confused, have a chat to us about what you should be doing if you plan to travel with your pet.