Assuming Britain leaves the EU on 29th March 2019, there are three potential outcomes for the UK with regard to pets travelling abroad to an EU country.
Potential outcome 1
The UK becomes a ‘Part 1 listed country’
If this happens, then the set up with regard to Pet Passports, Rabies vaccination and worming will remain pretty much as it is now – very little will change.
Potential outcome 2
The UK becomes a ‘Part 2 listed country’
If this occurs then all the current passport regulations would still apply but animals would also require a ‘Model Health Certificate’ to travel. It is expected that this certificate would have to be issued by an Official Veterinarian at least 21 days post 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 becomes an ‘Unlisted country’
In this instance, the following requirements for travel would need to be adhered to:
- A blood sample would need to be taken 30 days after Rabies vaccination.
- The animal would not be able to travel until:
a) They have a Rabies antibody titre certificate from the approved laboratory. This confirms they have the required level of antibodies to Rabies and proves their response to the vaccination
b) 3 months have passed since the date the blood sample was taken
c) they have a ‘Model Health Certificate’, as described in ‘Potential outcome 2’
- The animal would have to enter the EU via a designated travellers point of entry (as yet, an unspecified location).
Any of the outcomes are possible and it is important to consider the above information and rabies blood testing if you plan to take your pet abroad after Brexit. We would recommend booking an appointment to see your vet in order to discuss these options and whether taking additional precautionary measures would be appropriate for you.
Following on from our recent blog on this subject, another story has come to light.
A French bulldog bitch purchased from a previous owner after she had been imported from Hungary, was taken to her local vet for a routine check up. Her passport stated she was 6 months old but the vet soon realised the puppy’s teeth showed she couldn’t be more than 4 months old. Checks revealed that this lovely puppy’s pet passport was in fact a forgery – therefore there was no evidence that she had been vaccinated against rabies and could in theory be a public health risk by carrying the disease into a rabies-free country. Enforcement officers had to be called and the puppy was taken to quarantine kennels for 22 days, which cost her new owners a further £650.00.
Luckily for this puppy all was well, however there are many illegally imported dogs that end up being very poorly and cost their new owners hefty vet bills almost immediately. In addition, there are often behavioural issues due to the puppies not being adequately socialised before being exported.
In theory no puppy can be vaccinated against rabies until it is 12 weeks old, after which it must wait a further 21 days before travelling, therefore no puppy should be entering the UK until it is roughly 4 months old. The owners of this gorgeous girl don’t begrudge paying any of the extra money, however they had to endure a lot of heartache and worry whilst she was quarantined and they are warning everyone to double check before handing money over for a puppy.
In addition, Dogs Trust are urging potential dog owners to ‘think before you click’ if they try to buy a puppy online. Paula Boyden of Dogs Trust says “the video shows just how easy it is to be duped into thinking that what you are seeing online is actually what you are getting, because in many cases, these puppies have been taken from their mother too young and brought to this country in horrible conditions – if they even survive the journey.” You can view the video here.
Please note that the puppies in the photo are in no way related to this article and have not been imported
Recent figures from Eurotunnel show that more than 3,600 pets travelled using this service between 23rd and 26th July. In addition, 88% of pets travelling through UK ports and airports under the Pet Travel Scheme in 2014 were also carried on this service.
If you need a pet passport issued for your pet, please call us for an appointment. We are always here for you 24/7.
The Pet Travel Scheme allows animals to travel abroad without the need to be quarantined. Changes were made to this scheme which came into effect on 29th December 2014.
Passports now use laminated strips, making it more difficult for critical details to be altered, and a unique passport number is printed on each page of the passport. If you already have a pet passport issued before the 29th December 2014, you do not need a new one.
Definitions of dog, cat and ferret are now provided to prevent the transport of wild animals. Owners of Bengal and Savannah cats and Wolfdogs will need to consult AVHLA on 0370 241 11710 before travelling.
Other changes include:
- Your vet completes their details on the ‘issuing of the passport’ page and certifies vaccinations and treatments have been given.
- Checks on pet passports are being introduced across the EU.
- Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before you can get them vaccinated against rabies for the purposes of pet travel.
- Additional rules have also been placed on those travelling with more than 5 pets.
Read more about these changes here DEFRA – information for pet owners and further information for pet owners wishing to take their pet abroad, can be found at http://www.gov.uk/pet-travel-information-for-pet-owners.
Certain countries have their own requirements in addition to those laid out in the Pet Travel Scheme. Before travelling, we strongly recommend you establish the particular requirements of not only your destination but also all other countries through which you intend to pass. Guidance can be found on the GOV.uk website and contact us too, we’ll help you get ready.