The government urges pet owners to contact their vet with regards to travel plans with their pets ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued advice to pet owners about what they need to do to make sure they can travel to the EU with their pets when the UK leaves the EU in March.
The advice said that pet owners will still be able to travel to Europe with their pet after we leave the EU whatever the outcome of the negotiations. However, in the unlikely event of a no-deal they may need to take some additional steps. This includes a rabies vaccination, followed by a blood test a minimum of 30 days afterwards.
If pet owners are planning to travel after 29 March 2019, the government recommends they contact their vet at least four months in advance of their intended travel date to check what they need to do.
Those wishing to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019, for example, should discuss requirements with their vet as soon as possible and before the end of November 2018 at the latest.
The requirements include making sure that pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies before they travel. This involves an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody.
The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before their travel date. Pet owners will need to talk to their vet about health requirements in good time.
Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “I urge all pet owners who wish to travel immediately after 29 March 2019 to consult with their vet as soon as they can. This is about planning ahead to ensure their pet has the correct health protection documented and in place for all possible Exit scenarios. In recent weeks we have been in contact with vets to highlight the issue. They are expecting pet owners to consult with them and plan ahead.”
Pet owners can also stay up-to-date with the latest advice on pet travel on GOV.UK or by searching ‘pet travel’.