Brexit, dog travel, & pet passports

Everything you need to know about travelling abroad with a dog

If you’re planning a holiday for the upcoming months and worried about traveling with your dog after Brexit we’ve pulled together a few tips, with some help from our friends at My Family Pet, to help you.

Pet passport

The first and most important thing you’ll need when taking your dog abroad (apart from them of course!) is a pet passport. If you’re planning to bring a pet in or out of the country within the EU they’ll need one before they travel. 

What is a pet passport?

Pet passports are provided by the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) and include a record of all the treatments and vaccination your dog has had. They are required if your dog is travelling within the EU, for any travel outside of the EU you’ll be required to have an Export Certificate which can be provided by your vet. 

In your dog’s passport it will include:

  • Details of ownership
  • A description of your dog and their microchip number
  • Details of rabies vaccination
  • Details of rabies blood test
  • Details of tapeworm treatment

How do I apply for a dog passport & how much does a pet passport cost?

Your local vet should be able to issue you and your dog a pet passport, however if they don’t provide this service they’ll direct you to a clinic that does. 

When you apply for a pet passport you’ll need to take your dog, along with their vaccination and medical records. 

The cost of a pet passport can vary and will depend on what your pet will need prior to travel, for example rabies vaccination or a microchip. You’ll be able to ask your local vet for the specific costs. 

Why does my dog need a pet passport?

If you don’t want to be separated from your pet – and, let’s face it, who does? – it’s vital to follow the rules outlined in this article. If you don’t, your pet can be put into quarantine for up to four months, and can even be refused entry to the UK.

Brexit and the pet travel scheme

When Britain leaves the EU, there are three potential outcomes for how the UK will be ‘listed’ with regards to pets travelling abroad.

Potential Outcome 1

The UK will be a Part 1 listed country.

If the UK ends up as a Part 1 listed country, the procedure with regards to pet passports and rabies vaccinations will remain pretty much as it is at the moment. Very little will change.

Potential Outcome 2

The UK will be a Part 2 listed country.

If the UK ends up as a Part 2 listed country, all the current passport regulations would still apply but animals would also require a Model Health Certificate to travel.

A Model Health Certificate would be issued by an official veterinarian at least 21 days after the Rabies vaccination and within 10 days of travel. The certificate would be valid for 4 months for travel within the EU.

Potential Outcome 3

The UK will be an Unlisted country.

If the UK became an unlisted country, the following would need to take place before travel:

  • A blood sample would need to be taken 30 days after vaccination with Rabies.
  • Your pet would not be able to travel until it had a certificate with a required antibody titre from an approved laboratory and 3 months had elapsed since the date of blood sampling.
  • Your pet would also require a Model Health Certificate.
  • Your pet would have to enter the EU via a designated traveller's point of entry (as yet, unspecified location).

All of the above outcomes are possible and therefore this should be considered by all dog owners when gaining Pet Passports.

Serious consideration should also be given with regards to Rabies blood sampling if you are determined to take your pets away with you after Brexit. It may be sensible for you to have the blood test carried out in case the UK becomes unlisted. The only negative of this strategy is that your dog may have the blood test done and then find out it was unnecessary if the UK becomes a Part 1 or 2 listed country (but better safe than sorry!)

When should I apply for a pet passport with Brexit coming?

In the event that the UK becomes an unlisted country after Brexit, it will take at least 3 and up to 4 months for your pet to be able to travel.

The actions required are not set in stone. However, if you have travel plans for the near future, it’s best to plan for the worst – so your pet will need the following:

  • Be fully vaccinated or boosted
  • Free of Rabies according to their blood test
  • A Health Certificate

For advice on The Pet Travel Scheme, contact your local vet. You can also find full details of the pet passport scheme on the government website. 

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