So, Brexit has happened with Boris Johnson’s deal in place and now the negotiations with the European Union on the fine details of that deal will take place. We have entered a transition period of eleven months for those details to be finalised – a huge task – but one which still impinges on pet owners. We have had some guidance from the Government, which I would like to share with you but details are subject to change throughout the year so if you plan to travel with your pet cat, dog or ferret then please keep checking the gov.uk website regarding pet travel.
Until 31st December 2020, travel to and from the EU with a Pet Passport will remain unchanged.
From 1st January 2021, the UK will be designated a third country and our status will be Unlisted, Listed Part 1 or Listed Part 2 and that is undecided as yet - confusing already, isn’t it?
Unlisted Status – Dogs, cats and ferrets will no longer be able to use the Pet Travel Scheme. Our pets will require to be microchipped and be vaccinated against rabies. 30 days later a blood test is taken to assess whether the rabies vaccination is successful and if so, there is another 3 months wait before you can travel with your pet. If the blood test is unsuccessful the process starts all over again!
Within 10 days of travel, an Official Vet must issue an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) with the vaccination history, microchipping date and the blood test result. This is valid for entry into the EU and onward travel for up to 4 months including return to the UK. Pets will only be allowed to enter the EU at Travellers Points of Entry (TPE) ports and must present the AHC. Every trip into the EU will require a new AHC and certain countries, including the UK and Ireland, require tapeworm treatment before entry.
What about the other possible states we could become?
Listed Part 1 Status – this is the easiest option and follows the same rules as the Pet Travel Scheme now. UK pets would need to have their EU passport changed to a UK passport but, as long as their rabies boosters are kept up-to-date, travel would not be restricted to and from the EU.
Listed Part 2 Status – This is a half-way state between the other two. Our pets would still need microchipping, tapeworm treatment and rabies vaccinations but instead of the passport, would require an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) within 10 days of travel to the EU and would need a new AHC for every trip into the EU. The AHC would be valid for 4 months and pets could only enter Europe at designated Travellers Points of Entry.
Remember, that every other species of animal requires special import and export licences and that countries out with the EU have very different rules about travelling with animals. You will need to check these rules with the individual countries, and advice can be obtained from specialist pet transport companies.
Hopefully, the mandarins in Whitehall and Brussels will finalise the details well before the end of the year, but as with so much of Brexit, anything can, and probably will, change.