Given the on-going uncertainty around the Brexit deal that the British Government is to strike with the European Union this article advises you on how to prepare for European travel with your pets from 29 March 2019, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This situation might not happen of course, however you should be aware of the proposed changes and how they would affect your travel plans.
1. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, EU pet passports will not be valid for pets travelling on or after 29 March 2019
2. However, you will be able to apply for new documentation for travel. This, as yet unnamed documentation is yet to be defined, but will be communicated by the British Government at the appropriate time
1. You will need to work out whether you need to apply for new documentation. Your vet will help you to do this
2. The new documentation will be available to obtain with a valid EU pet passport as long as your pet’s vaccinations and blood tests are all up to date
3. If your current EU pet passport is out of date, or will have expired by the 29 March 2019, you will need to apply for the new travel document
4. In order to do this, you will need to make sure that your pet’s vaccinations and subsequent blood tests are up to date
5. Note that your pet needs to be vaccinated against rabies, in order to successfully obtain their travel documents. A blood test will need to be taken to show that this has been carried out successfully. The blood test can only be carried out 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination. Note that a three-month waiting period before travel would still be required from the date the blood was drawn to ensure no rabies symptoms develop
6. So, in a best-case scenario, this entire process could take 3 months to complete. If the blood test were to fail and the pet needed to be re-tested then the process could take up to 4 months to complete. For those of you travelling on or immediately after 29 March 2019, it is advisable that you start the vaccination process as soon as possible, to give your pet the best chance of being ready to travel
Call your Official Veterinary Surgeon at your Medivet practice to work out when and if you need to come in to start the vaccination and blood test process. If you are travelling on or just after the 29 March 2019 with your pets and you require rabies vaccinations then your vet will make an appointment for you in November.
Note that there is comprehensive information on the Defra Website, that outlines a number of scenarios for Brexit deals that the UK might enter into.