If you plan to travel with your pet to Europe after Brexit from the 30th March 2019 onwards there are important issues that you need to consider.
At this point in time we do not know if the current EU pet passports will remain valid and we don’t know what the regulations will be. If you plan to travel in the next 6 months to the EU with your pet/s it is important to plan for all possibilities. If you don’t have to take your pet outside of England in that period then it is sensible to wait and see what the requirements are. Trying to simplify a complex matter there are three main possibilities.
- The EU PETS travel scheme remains and current passports will still be valid.
- There is a possibility an additional health certificate will be required a set time before travel.
- Rabies antibody testing will be required. Rabies vaccinated pets will require a rabies blood test to establish a legally defined level of antibodies before travel. This takes a minimum of 4 months before the pet is allowed to travel. There has to be a rabies vaccination and then > 30 days after the vaccination a blood test to establish the pet has developed antibodies above a set amount. If your pet still has a valid rabies vaccination, we recommend a booster followed by a blood test, which should be taken 2-3 weeks after the booster. This allows for the highest level of antibodies to develop. If enough antibodies have formed and your pet passes the blood test and it is positive, then your pet can travel to European countries in the pet passport scheme 3 months after the blood test. If it is negative then the vaccination has to be repeated and the bloods then taken again after 30 days.
If you need to travel just after Brexit, it is important to make an appointment to make sure you are able to travel as planned. The very latest date to act to travel on the 1st April is 28th November 2018 for a new rabies vaccination.
Further information is also available in the Government’s Technical Notice about pet travel if there is no Brexit deal.