Our latest Brexit update for taking your pet abroad

by 23 Apr 2019Other news

We know many of you have concerns about taking a loved pet abroad to Europe at the moment, we appreciate it’s a very confusing and worrying time.  The situation regarding travel to the EU for Pets is very uncertain at the moment.

The Government has now reached an agreement on a six-month extension with the EU. This means the UK will be leaving the EU on the 31st October 2019 at the latest, with the option to leave earlier as soon as a deal has been ratified. Leaving without a deal remains the legal default at the end of the extension period. During the extension period, the UK will remain a member of the EU. In effect, the immediate risk of leaving with no deal has been averted.

Following the Article 50 extension in April, the European Commission have confirmed a further vote will be required as part of European process in Brussels, to confirm the UK country listing prior to a potential no-deal EU Exit scenario in the future.

To ensure a pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU in any scenario, pet owners are still being advised by Defra to contact their vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice.

The current extension affects advice on how pet owners should prepare for EU Exit as negotiations progress.

DEFRA has advised that pets will be able to travel to the EU using their current EU pet passport until the UK leaves the EU. No further checks or tests are required. Any Animal Health Certificates (AHCs) that have already been issued for travel from the UK to the EU and back are valid for:

  • A single trip Up to 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • Onward travel within the EU for four months after the date of issue, or until the date the rabies vaccination expires
  • Re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue provided that the rabies vaccination does not lapse (a booster whilst in the EU would maintain validity of the AHC for return travel to the UK only)

Currently, Defra advises that EU pet passports can be continued to be issued until further notice.

If a deal is agreed and an implementation period is confirmed, an owner can travel with their pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using their current EU pet passport.  DEFRA will continue to provide updates ‘Pet Travel to Europe after Brexit’  if there are any changes to guidance. Currently, the guidance contains information on the health and documentation requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU after Exit.

If AHCs are needed for EU travel your pet will also be required to have a Rabies Antibody Titre (serology) Blood Test, and if that is the case, an Animal Health Certificate will not be valid until 3 months after the date of blood sampling of a successful test.

If the UK is classed as an unlisted country after Brexit, Pet Passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU.