If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for taking your pet to any EU country could change. In the event of no deal, pet passports which were issued in the UK may be invalid for travel to EU countries.
It is important to see your Official Vet (OV)—the authorized vet to issue pet passports; at Churchcroft Vets George Packer is our OV. In the worst case scenario of the UK not being granted third country status, the following steps need to be taken to ensure that your pet can travel.
- To travel for the first time:
- Your pet must be micro-chipped
- Your pet will need a rabies vaccine and a blood test to prove the vaccination has been successful
- At least 30 days after the rabies vaccination, a blood sample will be taken from your pet. Your OV will be able to let you know whether you need a rabies vaccination booster before this test.
- The blood sample must be sent to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory by your OV.
- The blood test results must show that the vaccination was successful and that your pet’s rabies antibody level is at least 0.5 IU/ml.
- You need to wait 3 months from the date of the successful blood sample before you travel.
- Within 10 days of your travel date, you must take your pet to your OV to get a health certificate.
- The health certificate is valid for 10 days after being issued to enter any country in the EU
- It is valid for 4 months of continuous travel within the region
- It ensures that your pet can re-enter the UK for 4 months after being issued
- For repeated trips to the EU, your pet will require a health certificate for each visit. This can be procured from your OV if you take your pet’s previous successful blood test and your pet’s vaccination history
- If your pet already has a successful blood test, your pet can travel until the expiry date of the vaccination as long as required boosters are administered. With the uncertainty of Brexit it would be advisable to gain the serological proof of rabies immunity with a blood test taken by your OV.
- After entering the EU, pet owners will have to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE) with their pets. They will be asked to provide their pet’s health certificate, proof of rabies vaccination and blood test results, and proof of microchip.
- Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK
- an existing EU pet passport
- the health certificate issued in the UK to travel to the EU
- a UK pet health certificate issued abroad for travel into the UK
- It is recommended that the travel routes are checked
- On approved routes, your pet’s microchip and documents will be checked
- On unapproved routes, please speak to your vet about the required preparations necessary.
- If you are travelling back to the UK from countries that are not free from tapeworm (echinococcus multilocularis), you must take your dog to a vet in the 5 days before returning to the UK to undergo tapeworm treatment.
- This is not required if you are returning from Finland, Ireland, Malta, or Norway.
For first time travel, it is recommended that the process is started 4 or 5 months before the trip in case the rabies antibody levels are too low after the initial vaccination and a booster needs to be administered.
Stay updated with the latest information about travelling with your pets on the official government website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit.