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Changes to Pet Travel in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that should the UK leave the EU next year without a deal, there would be important implications for pet owners wishing to travel overseas with their animals from 30 March 2019.
Both owners and veterinary professionals need to be aware of and potentially act upon these implications by 28 November 2018 at the latest.
Defra therefore launched a communications campaign on 6 November 2018 to advise pet owners what they need to do in a no-deal scenario, and asked us to help raise awareness of this amongst pet owners and the veterinary profession.
What you need to know and do
You will still be able to travel to Europe with your pet after the UK leaves the EU, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. However, in the event of a no deal, you may need to take some additional steps to be able to travel with your pet to the EU.
If you are planning to travel after 29 March 2019 the Government will recommend you contact your vet practice at least four months in advance to check what you need to do.
If you wish to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019, for example, you should discuss requirements with your vet as soon as possible and by 28 November 2018 at the latest.
The requirements for travel would include making sure that pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies before they travel. This involves having an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody.
The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before their travel date. This means that you will need to talk to your vet about health requirements in good time to make sure they are able to travel with their pet.
The Government has published further guidance for pet owners on its website.