Brexit- Pet travel to the EU after the 29th March 2019
We do not currently know what will happen following Brexit. The government are ensuring that all scenarios are carefully considered- including the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is likely that the requirements surrounding the Pet Travel Scheme will change. The UK will be listed as a ‘third country’. Any changes to the existing Pet Travel Scheme will depend on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day we leave the EU. There are three categories of third country: Part 1 listed, Part 2 listed and unlisted. If the UK becomes Part 1 or Part 2 listed, the changes to the Pet Travel Scheme will be relatively straight forward- with the possibility of a change in documentation. This will include a health certificate confirming that the pet has been vaccinated against rabies. Current Pet Passports (issued before 29th March 2019) are likely to become invalid on 30th March 2019.
What happens in the event of becoming an unlisted third country?
This is where there will be significant alterations to the Pet Travel Scheme. We would urge all of our clients to prepare for this scenario well in advance, as there may be a long time frame associated with these changes. Please contact us for advice in plenty of time – ideally 6 months before travel. We would advise anyone planning to take their pets abroad to either ensure they return from the EU before the 29th March 2019, or to plan their trip for later on in the year when regulations are clearer. Any pet passports issued before 29th March 2019 are very likely to become invalid on 30th March 2019. This could potentially make returning the UK more complicated and may risk the pet being quarantined if their existing documentation has become invalid during a trip abroad.
In the event of becoming an unlisted third country, a rabies vaccination alone is not adequate for travelling to the EU. Pet owners will need to prove that their animal is effectively vaccinated against rabies by arranging for a titre test to be carried out. This is a simple test that demonstrates the level of rabies antibodies in the blood and is carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination. Travel can then commence from three months following the blood test result – as long as it shows sufficient levels of antibodies.
Occasionally, a titre test will show insufficient levels of rabies antibody…
In this instance, the process would need to be repeated, with a further rabies vaccination being administered. The titre test must be carried out again 30 days later. A waiting period of at least 3 months is still required before the pet can travel to the EU.
Our advice to pet owners would be to ensure that you arrange for your pet to start this process at a minimum of 6 months before travelling (to allow for any repeat blood tests). Alternatively, you may wish to wait until your pet’s titre test shows sufficient levels of antibodies before booking your trip.
If you have any questions regarding the Pet Travel Scheme, please contact us on: 07443 929 395. Alternatively, we can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.