Preparing for post-Brexit EU travel: a step by step guide
By Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO)
Whether you’re chasing sunshine on the French Riviera or planning to compete in an international show, travelling with dogs in the European Union (EU) has grown more and more popular over the years. With the amount of dog-friendly accommodation options on the rise, it’s no surprise that UK travellers want to take their companions to mainland Europe and beyond.
With the Brexit deadline on the horizon (31st October), those planning to visit Europe with their dog for the forthcoming festive season, or in early 2020 to hit the ski season, will want to be fully prepared. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it’s likely that a current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU over winter 2019, as the UK will be treated as an unlisted country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.
With preparation, dog owners can get the correct health protection documented and in place for a No-Deal scenario. First steps would be for dog owners to contact their vet at least four months before travelling to get the latest advice. Owners will want to make sure their dog is microchipped and gets the necessary rabies injections (whether that’s a booster or initial vaccination).
At least 30 days after a rabies vaccination, your dog will be due a blood test to check that there is a sufficient rabies antibody level. Make sure you keep a record of your pet’s successful blood test so that it can be entered into an Animal Health Certificate. No more than ten days before travelling, it’s time to return to your vets to get an animal health certificate which will be valid for entry into the EU as well as returning home to the UK. It’s good to be aware that your dog will need a new health certificate for each visit to Europe.
Provided the blood sample was successful, owners and their dogs will have to wait three calendar months from the date blood was taken before travelling. Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm-free countries (Finland, the Republic of Ireland and Malta) must also be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 and no more than 120 hours before arriving in one of those countries.
When reaching the EU, travellers with their dogs will have to travel through a designated Traveller’s Point of Entry. Be ready to present proof of your dog’s microchip, rabies vaccination, successful blood test results and tapeworm treatment (if required) with your pet’s health certificate.
For practical, straightforward and up-to-date pet travel advice after Brexit, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit if you are travelling to the EU and https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad if you are entering or returning to the UK.
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