Brexit has been around the corner for months now, and people are starting to realise what changes may affect them. The outcome could also affect pet parents' plans and expenses for pet travel. So what does this mean for you and your pet?
In the event of a "no deal" or a drastic change to the EU Pet Travel Scheme, this article will help you remain armed and ready with important information. However, for the time being our lovely pets are able to travel to and from the European Union freely as long as they have a valid EU pet passport - and until the official separation between the UK and European Union takes place.
Brexit: what the UK government says on pet travel
The UK government has released some information to help travel lovers who cannot leave their fur friend behind. It states that, "When the UK leaves the EU, it will become a third country. In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categorisations of third country."
- Unlisted third country
- Listed third country 'Part 1'
- Listed third country 'Part 2'
Let's explain these further.
What happens if the UK becomes an unlisted third country?
In the case of becoming an unlisted third country, your pet's current EU pet passport will not be valid if it was issued in the UK.
In this case, you must then follow a certain procedure according to the UK government's rules. This includes supplying a blood sample of your pet, "Taken at least 30 days before its last rabies vaccination."
Your vet will send the blood sample to a testing laboratory certified by the EU where it must show a sufficient rabies antibody level in order for the passport to be approved. Keep in mind that you need to be patient as you will need to wait three months from this date before you can take your pet abroad.
In many EU countries, your pet may also need to be treated against tapeworm within 120 hours before arriving on new soil. You will need to check to see if the country/ies you are visiting require this.
The steps above are mandatory if there is a "no deal" Brexit result. You should be prepared to arrange these procedures in advance if you wish to travel with your pet. This is of course the worst-case scenario, and no one wants to see this happen!
If the UK obtains a 'Part 1' listed third country status
This is the better of the outcomes for you and your pet, as you only need to have your pet microchipped and vaccinated for rabies before travelling with them. Keep in mind that you need to be up to date regarding their tapeworm treatment, just in case.
Additionally, you will need a new document in the form of a UK Pet Passport. This is issued for life and works as long as your pet's vaccinations are up to date.
If the UK obtains a 'Part 2' listed third country status
If the UK falls under this category, you will need to follow the same process as a Part 1 listed country. However, you will also need to follow a few other mandatory steps for each trip planned.
In fact, you would need to visit a vet within 10 days prior to your trip in order to get an animal health certificate assessing that your pet is microchipped and vaccinated (up to date). This is mandatory for each trip you take with your pet if the UK receives such status.
On arrival in your travel destination, pets also need to go through a TPE, and you might be asked to present the animal’s health certificate.
For more details, talk to your vet about travelling with your pet. You can also visit the UK government website for updated information as the Brexit situation unfolds.
Will you and your pet be affected by these changes?