Travel Clinic

Brexit and Pet Travel.

With Brexit looming, the current pet passport scheme for travel to Europe is under threat. As the situation becomes ever more confusing we have put together some advice on the worst case scenario and current guidelines set out in case of us leaving the EU with ‘no deal’.

  • Currently, for travel to Europe your pet must be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination before a pet passport can be issued.
  • Under a no deal Brexit your pet must still have a microchip and rabies vaccination.
  • At least 30 days after its rabies vaccination, your pet must have a blood sample taken to check that antibodies to rabies are adequate.
  • These blood samples can only be sent to certain EU approved laboratories across the UK.
  • If the blood test is a pass (enough antibodies are produced) your pet may then travel three months after the date that the blood sample was taken. Your pet will not be able to travel any sooner than this.
  • Therefore, for pets, not currently vaccinated against rabies, you must begin this process at least four months before you are due to travel.
  • If your pet should fail the blood test, they must be given a rabies booster vaccination and be re blood tested (a further 30 days after the second rabies vaccination). If this is a pass, they are eligible to travel after an additional three months.
  • For pets currently vaccinated against rabies under the pet passport scheme, they may have a blood sample taken at any time (as long as it has been at least 30 days since a rabies booster or primary vaccination). The blood test results and its consequences for travel timings apply in the same way as detailed above.
  • Within 10 days of travel, your pet must be brought in for an examination by an OV (a vet that has undertaken relevant government training in pet travel and who is eligible to certify for travel).
  • You will be issued an official health certificate, and it is this certificate that you may travel under, within 10 days of it being issued. Passports would become invalid for travel to Europe.

If we leave with a deal, it is possible the the current pet passport travel scheme will still apply. Unfortunately, we can only advise based on the current information given to us by the government. Should you wish to find out more please book an appointment to discuss your travel requirements.


The reason pet passports were initially introduced

It is important to be aware that the Pet Passport scheme was originally set up to prevent Rabies and ultimately another zoonotic parasitic infection Echinococcus Multilocularis from entering the UK and posing a risk to humans, whilst allowing pet travel without quarantine. The process of getting a passport does not prevent your pet being exposed to other diseases commonly encountered in Europe which are not usually found in this country (such as leishmaniasis) to which our pet’s immune systems are completely naive. We are able to offer advice on these other diseases and the additional vaccination and protection protocols which are available to travelling pets.

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