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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 without a deal, there would be important implications for pet owners wishing to travel overseas with their animals after Brexit.
Both owners and veterinary professionals need to be aware of and potentially act upon these implications as soon as possible.
Defra launched a communications campaign in 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.
Pet owners planning to visit the EU after Brexit may need to leave more time to prepare. The Government is advising pet owners to contact their vet at least 4 months in advance of their travel date. Visit the Gov.uk website to find out more about pet travel to Europe after Brexit.
The Government has created the following videos for pet owners, providing information on potential changes to the rules around pet travel:
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 31 January 2020 the Government recommend you contact your vet practice at least 4 months in advance to check what you need to do.
If you wish to travel to the EU on 1 February 2020, for example, you should discuss requirements with your vet as soon as possible.
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 3 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 you are able to travel with your pet.
The Government has published further guidance for pet owners on its website.