BREXIT - No Deal Implications
Until now, the EU Pet Travel Scheme ("PETS") has made it a relatively easy process to travel to and from other EU countries with dogs, cats and ferrets provided the animal has a valid pet passport.
However, what will happen after we leave the EU on 29th March 2019 is uncertain.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would immediately become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme. This will almost certainly mean that additional rules will apply.
In the event that the UK government is unable to secure “listed” third country status prior to 29th March 2019, then it will be necessary for pet owners to start their preparations for pet travel at least 4 months in advance in order to be able to prove that their pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies prior to travel. It will not matter that you may have travelled before or may have a currently valid Pet Passport. The situation would be that even for pets with up-to-date rabies vaccinations, a rabies blood test would be required to show sufficient levels of rabies antibody. Such a test would need to be collected a minimum of 30 days after vaccination. Crucially, there would then be a 3 month waiting period required from the date the blood test was taken to ensure that no signs of rabies develop.
Therefore, any pet owner who wishes to be certain that they can take their pet abroad after 29th March 2019, needs to take action now. You will need to check that your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date and should consider having a booster if it has been over 12 months since the last rabies vaccination. You should also consider requesting a blood test to prove immunity to rabies which must be taken at least 30 days after the last vaccination.
Like most people, we are all hoping for common sense to prevail and for a good Brexit deal after 29th March whereby nothing will change from the current arrangements and pet travel under a pet passport will continue as it is currently. The problem is that no-one can predict what will happen after the 29th March 2019, so the purpose of this communication is to draw to your attention the worst case scenario so that you can plan accordingly.
Please don’t hesitate to contact AlphaPet if you have any further queries about any of this and we will endeavour to provide you with further updates as and when further information becomes available. You can also get further information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taking-your-pet-abroad-if-theres-no-brexit-deal