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Love taking your pets on your European travels?

Clent Hills Vets


When it comes to our pets, we never take chances. They’re much too important to us for that. That’s why we want to make sure that you have all the information you might need to take your pet to any EU country after 29 March 2019, in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Preparing your pet for travel within the EU after 29 March 2019 might take up to 4 months so for a travel date of 24rd May, you should book an appointment with your vet no later than 24th January. 

It’s worth noting that not all vets can issue the paperwork needed to take your pet abroad as they must be certified to do so. At Clent Hills Vets we have 3 vets who are certified to issue pet health certificates and passports.

Rules for pet travel

According to a statement by the UK government, here are 3 key areas to consider before taking your pets to an EU country:

  • Repeat trips to the EU
  • Return to the UK
  • Rules for pet travel

If the UK leaves the EU and becomes an ‘unlisted country’, there are new rules to ensure your beloved pets can travel within the EU after 29 March 2019:

  • Your dog, cat, or ferret must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.
  • Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. (You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.)
  • Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  • The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (Your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  • You must wait 3 months after the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  • You must take your pet to an Official Veterinarian (OV) no more than 10 days before travel to get a pet health certificate.

Other things to consider:

  • If there’s no deal, pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.
  • A successful blood test is only required for first time travel to an EU country. This is provided that your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date with boosters before the expiry date of the previous vaccination.

Your pet health certificate would be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • 4 months of onward travel within the EU
  • re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

People travelling with their pets would be required to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, the pet owner may be asked to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination, and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate.

This entire process can take up to 4 months so you should contact your vet far in advance of travelling to any EU country.

Repeat trips to the EU

If your pet has previously had a blood test and has proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccination, the blood test doesn’t need to be repeated. However, they will need a health certificate for each trip to the EU, which confirms their vaccinations and the results of the blood test.

To get a new health certificate you must take your pet to your vet (one that is certified to be able to issue health certificates) no more than 10 days before you travel, with proof of their vaccination history and blood test results.

Return to the UK

It’s mandatory that your pet has one of the following documents when returning to the UK:

  • an existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens)
  • the EU health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU
  • a UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only)

It’s important to check the routes before you travel to make sure that it’s an ‘existing approved route’. If you’re not travelling on an approved route, talk to your vet about what preparations you need to make before travel.

Also, if you’re travelling from a country that’s not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis), there’s one more step to keep in mind – take your dog to a vet between one and five days before returning to the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment. However, you don’t need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

Well, that’s a lot to take in!

We know, that’s a lot to take in, especially when this No Deal Brexit may never happen. In the meantime, though, if you need any more guidance on these new potential rules, here’s everything the government needs you to know:

If you’re not in the mood to read any more now, just get in touch with our team and we’ll make sure you’re ready for any upcoming travel plans with your furry family members.

REMEMBER, Preparing your pet for travel within the EU after 29 March 2019 might take up to 4 months so for a travel date of 24th May, you should book an appointment with your vet no later than 24th January.

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