Brexit and pet travel

How to prepare for travel with your pet to any EU country after the Brexit Transition Period has finished on Jan 1st 2021.

Brexit has seemingly been temporarily forgotten due to Covid-19 but with the deadline approaching, you must prepare for pet travel in the EU and be aware of what you need to do.

When the UK leaves the EU, it will become a third country. In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categorisations of third country:

  • Unlisted
  • Part 1 listed
  • Part 2 listed

Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day the UK leaves the EU. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed. The UK is likely to be treated as an unlisted country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme if it leaves the EU without a deal.

Pet Travel if the UK is an UNLISTED country.
A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.

You’ll need to take the following steps:
You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.

  • Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its last rabies vaccination. Your vet may recommend a booster rabies vaccination before this test.
  • Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  • The results of the blood test must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  • You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  • The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate.

You might find that the blood test result is not successful despite your pet being up to date with its rabies vaccinations. If this happens you’ll need a repeat vaccination and blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination.

Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm free countries (Finland, Ireland and Malta) should be treated for tapeworm before travel.

You will not be able to travel with your pet if you have not completed these steps.

You will also need to obtain a new Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
You will also take your pet to an official vet no more than 10 days before travel to get an animal health certificate.

You must take proof of:

  • your pet’s vaccination history
  • your pet’s microchipping date
  • a successful rabies antibody blood test result
  • tapeworm treatment if travelling to Finland, Ireland or Malta
  • Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid for:

10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue.

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with pets will need to enter through a designated Travellers’ point of entry (TPE). At the TPE, you may need to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination, successful blood test results and tapeworm treatment (if required) with your pet’s health certificate.

For more information please refer to official government guidance. 

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