Pet passport 1

Brexit and Pet Travel

Can my pet still travel on their Pet Passport?

We currently do not have a definite answer on how UK pets will be able to travel after the 12th April 2019; this depends on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Although it has not been decided how pet travel will be handled post-Brexit there are three possible scenarios.  Scenario 3 (the outcome of a no-deal Brexit) is the most difficult but it is important that pet owners prepare for this outcome. 

Anyone thinking of taking their pet abroad after we have left the EU, should consider the three scenarios and decide accordingly what to do, depending on their circumstances and plans. 

This advice has been provided by the UK Government, through the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Further advice is expected in the near future, once plans have been confirmed for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Possible scenarios

This would mean little change from the current system. There would be only minor changes needed to the documentation for pet passport travel, and no changes to health preparations. 

The current regulations would remain, but there would be additional requirements. A suitably qualified vet would need to issue a certificate called a ‘model health certificate’ (MHC). 

This would relate to rabies vaccination status, and be valid for a much shorter amount of time than the passport; ten days after the date of issue for entry into the EU, and four months for onward travel from the EU. A new MHC would be required for each trip. 

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pet would be required to report to a Travellers’ Point of Entry.

This scenario would cause the most difficulties preparing for travel. This scenario would be the result of a no-deal Brexit. 

In this case 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 a suitably qualified vet at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. At Vets4Pets we recommend giving your vet as much notice as possible, as this is the absolute minimum and the process can take much longer. 

Pets would have to visit their suitably qualified vet to undertake the following order of preparation for travel: 

  • Pets would have to be vaccinated against rabies, following the instructions within the manufacturer’s datasheet, as a primary course, on or after the date of microchipping. This is also part of the current pet passport regulations. 
  • Blood would have to be collected from the pet for a rabies antibody titre test at least 30 days after the date of the rabies vaccination to measure if the immune response has been adequate.  If this test is failed, then another rabies vaccination must be given and the process restarted.  
  • Following demonstration of an adequate immune response to the rabies vaccination, pets would have to wait at least 3 months from the date of blood collection to the date of travel.
  • You must take your pet to an Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.
  • The shortest time from starting to ending this process is four months.

Your pet health certificate would be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • 4 months of onward travel within the EU
  • Re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

A new health certificate would be required for each trip. 

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets would be required to enter through a designated Travellers Point of Entry. Here, you may be asked to present proof of your pet’s microchip, rabies vaccination and the blood test result alongside their health certificate.

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