Pet passports and Brexit – will you need to take action?
DEFRA have issued the following information for pet owners
If you currently hold a UK-issued EU pet passport for your cat, dog or ferret:
We would like to make you aware of changes that may affect you and your pet when travelling to the EU after Brexit on 31 October 2019.
When the UK leaves the EU, health and documentation rules for pets travelling between the UK and the EU will change.
The UK Government is advising pet owners to visit a vet at least four months before their travel date to prepare.
Travel to the EU after 31 October
If the UK leaves the EU with No Deal, your current UK-issued EU pet passport will not be valid for entry to the EU.
You will need to complete the following steps before travelling with your pet:
- get your pet microchipped and ensure your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date (as now)
- return to the vets for a blood test at least 30 days after your pet’s last rabies vaccination to check its worked
- wait three calendar months after a successful blood test before you travel to the EU
- return to a vet within ten days of travel for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
An AHC is valid for 10 days after its date of issue for entry into the EU. The certificate is valid for onward travel within the EU for four months. Please be aware that you will need a new AHC each time you visit the EU.
If your pet’s vaccinations are kept up to date you will not need to repeat the blood test for each journey.
Return from the EU
There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering GB from the EU after Brexit.
There will be changes to documents to enter the UK. You can use one of the following documents to return to the UK:
- an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to Brexit)
- the AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to four months after it was issued)
- a UK Pet Health Certificate (for travel into the UK only)
Other Considerations before Travel:
- dogs travelling from the UK to EU-listed tapeworm-free countries (Finland, Republic of Ireland and Malta) must be treated for tapeworm 24 to 120 hours (one to five days) before arriving in one of those countries
- on arrival in the EU, travellers with pets will need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry where you may need to show proof of your pet’s health checks and documentation
- there are different rules that apply for travel from Northern Ireland. Please check online guidance issued by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland (DAERA-NI) or speak to your vet for more information
Further guidance is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
There is also a dedicated Pet Travel Helpline, contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 0370 241 1710 (available Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)).
We will keep you up to date as we hear more. Thank you.