Post-Brexit Pet Travel
A lot of people are writing about Post-Brexit Pet Travel, but some of it is not very clear so I’m going to try to explain it for you. The problem is not just about coming back into the UK from other parts of Europe, but the outward trip travelling into mainland Europe from the United Kingdom. There is still time for the status of the UK to be clarified, but when you look at the list of things which need sorting that may not be at the top. If you are planning to travel soon after March 29th then it really would be best to take some action now to make sure you can. I thought I’d explain it straight to you dogs and cats so you can make sure your humans get it right.
Worst Case Scenario
If we have no deal with the EU the UK will become what is known as an ‘unlisted country’ unless our status is specifically clarified. In that case there are additional requirements to the current ones.
- You must be micropchipped (that is as now)
- You must have a rabies vaccination, which you can have once you are at least 12 weeks old (again that is the same)
- At least one month after the rabies vaccination you need to have a blood test, which must be processed by an EU approved laboratory. That blood test has to show that you have sufficient immunity to the disease – that’s about the antibody level in your blood.
- As long as the blood shows an antibody level of 0.5 IU/ml then you would be able to travel 3 months after the blood sample was taken.
- If there are not sufficient antibodies (which can happen and did to Alfie when he was a puppy) then you would have to repeat steps – repeat vaccination, repeat blood test etc.
- You only need to do the blood test once unless you let your rabies vaccination lapse.
- If you had a successful blood test under the old system that was in place until 1st January 2012 and have maintained your rabies vaccinations since then, it will still be valid and does not need to be repeated.
When you are ready to go
- Then when you want to travel, because your current pet passport will no longer be valid, you will need to go to an Official Veterinarian (OV) in the UK no more than 10 days before you travel to get a health certificate issued. Not all UK vets are OVs. Those who could issue and sign passports will be though.
- The health certificate is valid for 10 days for entry to the EU and for 4 months for onward travel in the EU. It is also valid for coming back to the UK in those 4 months.
- To come back into the UK you will still need to have the same worming treatment as now and this will need to be recorded as now, so your current pet passport will still be useful for this. As now the worming must be between 24 hours and 120 hours before setting paw in the UK.
- One last thing, there are only certain places you can travel to and from, so be sure you are on an approved route.
What does it all mean?
Basically, unless the rules are changed, it means you won’t be able to travel until you are at least seven months old. As things are now you can travel at fifteen weeks, so it’s quite a big change. It will also mean more vet visits, which can’t be a good thing.
A couple of general pieces of advice if you are going to be travelling abroad. 1) make sure your human gets your insurance to cover overseas travel. Most policies don’t unless it is specifically added and some won’t cover it at all. You just never know when you will need it. 2) when you go for your check before leaving the UK make sure your vet checks your microchip. They can and do fail – it happened to Shadow when she was out of the country and from first-paw experience it is awful when it happens.
As things are now in the worst case of that happening you could still come home within three weeks. With the change you would be sitting in a kennels in Europe for four months if it had to be resolved as you’d need all the vaccination and blood test doing again. It’s not worth the risk! For your insurance to be valid if it does fail then the fact of it being checked must be recorded by your vet and it must be within three weeks of you setting paw outside the UK. You can do that at the same time as your health form.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t understand any of that and I’ll try to help.
© 2018 Rosemary J. Kind
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