Defra (the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has published advice about pet travel between the UK and EU countries after Brexit (29 March 2019). Key points from Defra’s advice are summarised here. For the latest guidance, please visit the Defra website, whose information takes precedence over what’s published here.

How it works at the moment

Under the EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), dogs, cats and ferrets with valid EU pet passports can travel with their owners between EU countries. At least 21 days before the pet’s first trip, a vet must ensure the pet has a microchip, give it a rabies vaccination, and issue a pet passport.

Pets travelling from the UK to the EU post Brexit

If the UK becomes a listed 3rd country

If the UK becomes a listed third country, there will be little change to the process and documentation. If the UK’s listing is:

  • Part 1, there will be no change for pet owners from what they currently need to do in terms of health preparations
  • Part 2, your pet will need a health certificate from a vet confirming it is appropriately identified and vaccinated against rabies
Animalcouriers at Portsmouth harbour

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will most likely be treated as an unlisted country. That means pet passports issued in the UK won’t be valid for travel to the EU.

To ensure your pet can travel from the UK to the EU after 29 March 2019 in the event of a no-deal scenario, you should start making plans now, as you need to allow four months between the rabies vaccination and the date of travel.

  1. Get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
  2. Your vet will send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  3. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  4. Wait three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  5. Take your pet to an official vet no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.

Once a pet has had a successful blood test, and provided that the rabies vaccination is kept up to date, you won’t need to repeat the blood test. You will, however, need to get a health certificate for your pet for each trip.

Pets travelling to the UK from the EU

There will be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK after 29 March 2019.

For the latest information

Visit the Defra website: