Sorry to mention Brexit but……
For many pet owners, no holiday is complete without their pets by their side. Up until now this has been a relatively easy process for British pet owners holidaying in EU countries, courtesy of the EU Pet Travel Scheme. Under this scheme dogs, cats and ferrets can travel freely throughout EU countries provided the animal has a valid pet passport… but all this could change with Brexit.
What will happen if you want to take a pet animal to the EU post-Brexit?
No one is certain what will happen after the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK would immediately become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme.
Will this mean UK pet owners can no longer take their pets to EU countries?
No, UK pet owners will still be able to take their pets to EU countries, but additional rules will likely apply.
In the event the UK government is unable to secure ‘listed’ third country prior to 29th March 2019 it would be necessary for pet owners to start preparations for pet travel with their vet at least four months prior to travel to prove their pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies prior to travel.
For pets with up-to-date rabies vaccinations a rabies test showing sufficient levels of rabies antibodies is required, the sample must be collected a minimum of 30 days after vaccination. There is then a 3 month waiting period required from the date the blood was drawn to ensure no signs of rabies develop.
What do I need to do?
Any owner that wishes to be certain they can take their pet abroad after 29th March 2019 needs to take action now. They should check they have up to date rabies vaccinations and consider a booster if it has been some time since the last vaccination. A blood sample to prove immunity to rabies should be taken at least 30 days after the last vaccination.
If you feel that you may want to travel with your pet in 2019 and would like to arrange a blood sample to assess the rabies status of your animal, please phone reception on 01569 764140 to make an appointment.