Four month delay for pet passports if UK don't reach Brexit deal
You may be tired of hearing about ‘Brexit’ as it’s dominated our headlines for the last couple of years and even more so recently, as a deal for the UK is thrashed out. However, if you’re a pet owner and planning to travel, this is one piece of Brexit news you may want to learn more about.
At present, EU nationals can travel freely with their dogs, cats and ferrets, within the EU and UK if they have a valid Pet Passport. Part of the Pet Passport scheme requires animals to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Previously to this, animals would face long periods of time in quarantine (usually around 6 months) making travelling with pets very difficult.
If you’re planning on travelling with your pet in the future, you may want to look into getting a Passport for your pet sooner rather than later, as a no Brexit deal could mean you have to apply for one at least 4 months in advance of travel.
No Brexit deal
If no Brexit deal is reached, this would mean the UK would become a ‘third country’ and subjected to further checks. The scale of checks will depend on which category the UK will be assigned to after negotiations. Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator stated that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, “the ability of dogs and cats to cross the Channel” will be impacted.
Four month delay
Should this be the case, pet owners will need to apply for a Pet Passport at least 4 months prior to travel. Part of the process will involve speaking with a certified ‘Official Veterinarian’ and proving their pet was rabies free. This in itself may involve further vaccinations, 30 day wait before blood tests, and a further 3 month waiting period before a passport is issued and you’re free to travel.
Although the Government have advised that it is very likely we will reach an acceptable deal with the EU, they have said that it is their responsibility to make preparations should a deal not be reached.