Taking pets to Europe after Brexit will be easier after EU drops rule

What a treat! Taking pets to Europe after Brexit becomes easier after EU drops rule which could have left owners having to plan trips three months in advance

  • Pet owners were facing months-long delay to being able to take pets to Europe
  • But UK will be now part of EU Pet Travel Scheme meaning fewer restrictions
  • Cats, dogs and ferrets will need rabies vaccination 21 days before travel and a vet’s certificate issued 10 days before 
  • Pet Passports have been scrapped and current ones will no longer be valid

Pet owners will have an easier taking their animals to the continent post-Brexit after a late concession by the EU on travel.

The European Commission yesterday granted the UK Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, which will come into force on January 1.

This means dog, cat and ferret owners will need to have their animal vaccinated against rabies 21 days before travel, and an animal health certificate (AHC) valid no more than 10 days before making the journey to the EU or Northern Ireland.

The European Commission has granted the UK Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, which will come into force on January 1

The government had warned that if the UK had been given unlisted status, it would have forced pet owners to plan any trip to the continent up to four months in advance with extra checks.

Owners will still have to ensure their animal is microchipped, and protected against certain diseases.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed dogs, cats and ferrets will need to be vaccinated against rabies 21 days before travelling instead of three months, and dogs must be treated against tapeworm if they are travelling to some countries.

Owners have been advised to check the Government website for guidelines.

Dogs, cats and ferrets will need to be vaccinated against rabies 21 days before travel, and an animal health certificate (AHC) valid no more than 10 days before making the journey to the EU or Northern Ireland

Pets and assistance dogs will also need to enter the EU through a travellers’ point of entry (TPE), which includes all the major French ports such as Calais, Caen and Dunkirk.

What are the new rules for pet travel to the EU and Northern Ireland? 

From January 1, to travel with your pet to the EU or NI you must: 

– Ensure all dogs, cats or ferrets are microchipped;

– Ensure that dogs, cats or ferrets are vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated;

– Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel;

– Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24 to 120 hours before landing, if they are travelling to a tapeworm free country;

– Visit their vet to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.

There will be no change to the current health preparations or documents for pets entering Great Britain from the EU or Northern Ireland.

Previous plans had caused chaos for pet travel, and could have led to whole families being turned away at EU ports if they did not have the correct paperwork.

The animal health certificate is expected to cost about £60 — similar to the pet passport. This can be used for travel between EU countries for up to four months.

UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: ‘Your vet will be able to advise what you need to do in order to obtain the correct documentation to travel and you can find the latest pet travel advice on gov.uk or by searching ‘pet travel’.’

Meanwhile, the Government is continuing to press the European Commission to secure Part 1 listed status, stating that the UK currently meets all the requirements for it. 

A spokesman for the Dogs Trust charity urged pet owners to make themselves familiar with the new rules.

‘Dogs Trust encourages pet owners to thoroughly read the government’s guidance to ensure that they’re not caught out with the incorrect paperwork when wishing to go to Northern Ireland or the EU with their dog,’ the spokesman said.

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