With the UK due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, many of our clients are asking what the effect of Brexit will be on pet travel between the UK and the EU. Specifically, they’re asking whether the Pet Passport Scheme (PETS) that covers dogs, cats and ferrets will still apply.
Pets will still be able to travel
Defra (the UK government’s Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has stated that pets and their owners will still be able to travel between the UK and the EU post Brexit.
- For pets travelling from the EU to the UK, there will be no change to PETS requirements.
- For pets travelling from the UK to the EU, there may be some changes, depending on the terms on which the UK leaves the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal
Changes to requirements for pet travel from the UK to the EU will be minor if the UK leaves with a deal and becomes what’s called a ‘listed country’.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EU will probably treat it as an ‘unlisted country’, in which case pets travelling to EU countries will almost certainly have to meet additional requirements. These will include:
- A rabies vaccination
- Followed by a blood test at least 30 days afterwards
- Then a wait of three months (assuming a successful blood test result) before the pet can travel
What does this mean for pet owners with travel plans?
If you’re planning to travel from the UK to an EU country with a dog, cat or ferret after 29 March 2019, Defra recommends you contact your vet at least four months ahead of your travel date to see what the requirements may be.
So if, for example, you have a trip planned for 30 March 2019, you need to contact your vet before 30 November 2018.