Travelling with pets after Brexit
February 7, 2019

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a Brexit deal, this is the current advice for pet owners wanting to travel with pets to EU countries after the 29th March.

The most important thing to mention is that you should contact the vet, at least 4 months prior to travelling, in order to get the latest travel information available.

It is also worth noting that in the event of a no deal, UK pet passports already issued will not be valid for EU travel.

Pet travel vaccinations

Dogs, cats and ferrets must be microchipped and have a rabies vaccine before they are able to travel. In addition to this, a blood sample must be taken from your pet at least 30 days after receiving the rabies vaccine. For more information on whether a rabies vaccination or a booster is needed before the blood test, you should consult your vet. The blood sample must show a successful rabies vaccination, indicated by a rabies antibody level of a minimum of 0.5 IU/ml. After a successful blood sample, there must be at least a 3-month wait before travelling. Your pet must get a health certificate by visiting an Official Veterinarian, no more than 10 days before travel.

It is only for first-time travel to an EU country, that the successful blood test is needed, provided that the rabies vaccinations are kept up to date through booster vaccinations. Pet health certificates are valid for 10 days after the issue date for entry to the EU, 4 months for onward travel within the EU, and valid for re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the issue date.

On arrival into the EU, entry is required through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE) for pet owners and pets, where owners may be asked for proof of microchip, rabies vaccine and successful results of the blood test, in addition to the health certificate.

Repeat trips to the EU

For repeat trips to the EU, pets that previously had a blood test and an up to date rabies vaccination, do not need to repeat the blood test, however, they will need a new health certificate for every trip to the EU. You can get a new health certificate by taking your pet to visit an Official Veterinarian, no more than 10 days before travel, and must take proof of a successful rabies antibody blood result as well as vaccination history.

Returning to the UK

In order to return to the UK, your pet must have one document of either, an existing EU pet passport, the EU health certificate issued in the UK for travel to the EU, or a UK pet health certificate issued outside of the UK, only for travel into the UK.

Always check your routes before travel, as on existing approved routes, documentation and microchips will be checked, however, if not travelling on an approved route, consult your vet about necessary preparations before travel.

After 29th March, there will be no changes to the current requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU.

If you are travelling to the UK from a country that is not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis), you will have to take your dog to a vet, 1-5 days before returning to the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment.

Remember to always check with your vet and the latest government information to make sure you know your stuff before travelling as the information may change at any time.