Author: D. Wilson, Alder Vet Practice
The 29th of March is looming closer and closer and watching the manoeuvres in Parliament is horrifying, fascinating, frustrating and enthralling all in one. And it is fast changing day by day. No-one knows what the outcome is going to be (a crystal ball would be very useful) but a “No-deal Brexit” is a distinct possibility. Behind the scenes, the civil servants working for the Government have been working hard to prepare for every eventuality and have published advise for vets in the event of a “No Deal” which I want to share with you if you plan to take your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad.
In this event the UK may be classed as an “Unlisted Third Country” in terms of animal movements and you must prepare for this contingency if you normally use a Pet Passport.
Your pet must be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination. At least 30 days later it must have a blood test to check the effectiveness of vaccination. This blood is sent to an approved laboratory which will sent back the results within 1-2 weeks. Your pet must have an effective response to vaccination with rabies antibody levels above 0.5 iu/ml. You must then wait 3 months from the date the sample was taken before you are able to travel. If your pet does not reach the successful level of antibody response, it must be vaccinated again, and a repeat blood sample taken.
A Health Certificate is required from your Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before travel. This certificate is valid for onward journeys through the EU for 4 months and for re-entry into the UK 4 months after the issue date. This can only be provided with proof of vaccination and a successful blood test certificate. You will need a new Health Certificate every time you travel with your pet into the EU.
You only need a blood test once if you keep up with booster vaccinations.
When entering the EU, you need to travel through a Travellers Point of Entry (TPE) – a list of these are available on the Government website. Your pet will be scanned to check its microchip and you will need to provide proof of rabies vaccination, the blood test certificate and the Health Certificate. If you are already in the EU you will need a Pet Passport, or a Health Certificate issued within 4 months or a Health Certificate issued in the EU to return to the UK.
If you live in the EU, you will be able to enter the UK with a Pet Passport but will need a rabies blood test in order for your pet to return to the EU (this could be done in the EU before you travel and means you will not have to wait the 3 months). The tapeworm administration requirements still apply for dogs returning to the UK, so remember to see a local vet before your journey back.
Good grief - we all need a stiff cup of tea after that.