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Taking your pet abroad in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit – how could this affect you?

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As we fast approach the official date that the UK will leave the EU (29th March 2019), Brexit is definitely one of the major affairs not only consuming the media, but most of us living in the UK who are thinking about the practical impacts down the line.

With a growing number of people travelling on holiday with their animals*, you might be wondering what’s going to change when you travel to the EU with your pet.

With a deal still in negotiation and a possibility of a ‘no deal’ scenario, there are no concrete answers just yet – but to help you become more informed, here is our Q&A on what we can find so far:

Could I still travel with my pet?

In short - yes. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, any EU country will be treated as an unlisted country and the current pet passports issued in the UK will no longer be valid for travel to the EU. So we’ll need to wait to see what the replacement will be.

So what will I need to do differently?

Travelling out:You will likely need to take the following steps when travelling with your pet:

  1. You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before they can travel.
  2. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least thirty days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
  3. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory and the results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  4. You must wait three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  5. You must take your pet to an official veterinarian, no more than ten days before travel to get a health certificate.
Tip - Contact your vet four months before your trip to ensure all the steps are covered in good time!

Returning to UK:There should be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU; your pet must have one of the following documents:

  • An existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens)
  • The EU health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU
  • A UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only)

You will need to take your dog to a qualified vet between one day (24hrs) to five days (120hrs) before returning to the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment recorded in the pet passport, which must include the date and time of administration with an official veterinary stamp and signature, or third-country official veterinary certificate. Except if you’re travelling directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

Tip - Check the routes before you travel, there are official approved routes where your documents and microchip will be checked. If you’re travelling on an unapproved route, speak to your vet about what preparations you need to make before travelling.

Will my pet need to go into quarantine?

No, as the requirements for pets entering to the UK from the EU will not change, you will not need to put your pet into quarantine, unless the tapeworm treatment has not been administrated and recorded correctly, Your pet can be refused entry or placed into quarantine if you do not follow this rule.

If I travel multiple times to the EU, do I need a blood test every time?

A successful blood test is only required for first time travel to an EU country.

Pets that have previously had a blood test and have an up-to-date rabies vaccination do not need to repeat the blood test. Your pet will need a health certificate for each trip to the EU.Your pet health certificate would be valid for:

  • Ten days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • Four months of onward travel within the EU
  • Re-entry to the UK for four months after the date of issue

If your pet’s healthy certificate expires, you can get a new one by taking your pet to your vet no more than ten days before you travel. You must take proof of:

  • Your pet’s vaccination history
  • A successful rabies antibody blood test result

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