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Brexit and Pet Travel

Can my pet still travel on their Pet Passport?

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If you wish to travel to the EU with your pet after 29th March 2019 we recommend speaking with your vet at least four months in advance of your date of travel. 

We do not have a definite answer on how UK pets will be able to travel after the 29th March 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 if they wish to travel after 29th March 2019. 

Pets Travel Scheme (PETS)

The Pet Passport scheme is an EU scheme that allows dogs, cats and ferrets who hold a pet passport to travel between EU countries. There are some rules, but travel restrictions are few and moving pets within the EU is currently fairly simple. 

Read more about the current pet passport scheme

Scenario 1

We become a listed Part 1 ‘Third Country’

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. 

Scenario 2

We become a listed Part 2 ‘Third Country’

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.

Scenario 3

We become an unlisted ‘Third Country’

This scenario would cause the most difficulties preparing for travel in 2019, after 29th March. 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.
  • The shortest time from starting to ending this process is four months.