If you’re a pet owner and planning to take your pet abroad after Brexit, you’re probably concerned about what you need to do to ensure you don’t run into problems.
Currently, the European Union Pet Travel Scheme means that pet owners can freely travel with their furry friends between the UK and other EU countries. However, in the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31, we could see changes to the rules meaning pet passports for dogs issued in the UK will become invalid for travel to EU nations.
The uncertainty over Brexit has definitely added to the confusion but according to information published on the Government website, the advice is still to contact your vet at least four-months before travelling to find out which relevant treatments and vaccinations are required.
Grain-free pet food manufacturers, Canagan, have created a timeline for pet owners from four-months to 10 days, including a break down of costs and health certificates, to help you prepare for your holiday.
Four months to go
Microchip and vaccinate your pet against rabies
In the case of the UK becoming an unlisted Third Country (a country that is not a member of the European Union), it is crucial that your pet is microchipped and fully vaccinated before they can travel. It is important at this stage to know your dog must be at least 12 months old to qualify.
Your dog must also have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after their last rabies vaccination – whether it’s an initial vaccination or simply a booster. Consult your vet, as they may recommend a booster rabies vaccination beforehand.
Your vet will then send this blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory. The blood test results must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
From the date a successful blood sample is taken, you must wait three months before travelling with your dog. Your vet will give you a copy of the test results and an animal health certificate detailing the exact day the blood sample was taken.
Blood test results are not always successful, despite your dog being up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. In this instance, you’ll need a repeat vaccination and blood test taken at least 30 days afterwards.
Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm-free countries including Finland, Ireland and Malta must be treated for tapeworm before travel.
Once your dog is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies, you can apply for a new pet passport. The passport should be stamped and signed by an official veterinarian with evidence of procedures undertaken by any registered veterinary surgeon. You must then be able to show the original documents – a photo or scan will not qualify.
Check for pet-friendly air, sea and rail companies and routes
Before travel, ensure you have researched transport companies and routes that allow pets on board. Attendants will check your pet’s documents and microchip to ensure they are healthy enough to pass border control.
If you’re travelling to England, Scotland or Wales from other UK countries, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland, there’s no need to worry about approved routes.
On the other hand, if you’re not travelling on an unapproved route, your vet can advise on next steps.
10 days to go
Visit your vet no more than 10 days before travel to get an animal health certificate documenting your dog’s vaccination history, microchipping date, successful rabies antibody blood test result and tapeworm treatment (if travelling to Finland, Ireland or Malta).
This certificate will be valid for 10 days after the date of issue. It will permit onward travel and re-entry into the UK for four months after the date of issue.
The cost of these changes
The BVA (British Veterinary Association) estimates that pet owners will need to pay up to £150 for this process. Minimum costs are as follows:
- Pet passport £60
- Rabies vaccination or booster £32.60
- Microchipping £20
Look out for the Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE)
On arrival into an EU country, you’ll need to enter through a designated Travellers’ point of entry (TPE). Here you may need to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination, successful blood test results and tapeworm treatment (if needed) with your dog’s health certificate.
But what about repeat trips to the EU?
If you love holidaying with a dog, don’t worry – once you have a successful blood test result and up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history, there’s no need for another blood test.
However, you do need a new health certificate for each trip to the EU. Once again, you must visit your vet no more than 10 days before travel with the microchipping date, rabies vaccination history, successful antibody blood test result and tapeworm treatment for select countries.