Brexit- Pet travel to the EU after the 29th March 2019
The UK has now left the EU, and for the remainder of 2020, we know that Pet Passports will still be valid for travel to EU countries.
The UK will be listed as a ‘third country’ from 01 January 2021. 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. Pet Passports will no longer be valid for travel within Europe, but pets will require an Animal Health Certificate (AHC), complete with proof of testing for rabies antibody titres. The AHC must be obtained from an Official Veterinarian within 10 days of the date of travel. Pet Passports will remain valid for re-entry into the UK.
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.
What happens if the UK becomes a Part 1 listed country?
In this instance, you will need to apply for a UK Pet Passport, which will then remain valid for your pet’s lifetime. The same rules regarding tapeworm treatments and rabies vaccinations that currently exist will still apply. No Animal Health Certificate will be required, and rabies serology will not be necessary, either.
What happens if the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country?
If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, a Pet Passport will be required – with the usual conditions met – but an Animal Health Certificate will also be required. There will be no requirement for rabies serology testing. There will be designated points of entry into Europe, at which you may be asked to produce proof of your pet’s passport, AHC, vaccination history and parasite treatments.
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.