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How is brexit going to affect taking pets abroad?

Currently, pets can readily travel into and out of all EU countries just on their Pet Passport.

To get a pet passport you need to visit your local vet, ensuring they have an Official Vet on staff, who can administer the rabies vaccine and issue the pet passport.  The pet passport looks like a people passport, with space for a photo, your pets ID details including their microchip, rabies vaccines, worming treatments and general vaccines.  After the first rabies vaccination, you need to wait 21 days for the pet passport to be valid, but as long as you keep the rabies vaccines up to date each year, or each three year’s (depending on the brand used), it remains continuously valid.

To return to the UK, pets must have a veterinary check between 24 and 120 hours prior to returning into the UK, where the official vet in the EU country will administer a tapeworm treatment (tablet) and record them as fit to travel – just make sure you organise your return travel to fit these timelines.

The additional tapeworm treatment also applies for pets traveling to Malta, Norway and Ireland, so please remember to book this in with your vet before travel!

Pet travel to the EU after brexit 2018

Brexit will likely change the current regulations.  Although there is plenty of uncertainty around the specific legislative changes following the UK departure from the EU in March 2019, the government, through DEFRA, is currently recommending that all pets planning on travelling into the EU from March 2019, be blood tested for rabies and have this recorded in the pet passports.  There will need to be a 3 month wait from the date of blood testing before they can travel so now is the right time to visit your vet and start that process.

These ‘brexit’ changes are not yet confirmed and everyone is currently unsure about the regulations required for EU pet travel next year so speak to us to ensure your summer 2019 travel plans are as best prepared as possible!

Whilst many pets and owners enjoy road trips in to Europe together, please remember that we can offer flights in to most European city’s, allowing for pets to travel safely and arrive at the destination within a few hours, avoiding potentially long, tiring car trips!

If you have any questions about pet passports, rabies vaccinations and rabies blood tests, the PETS Scheme or EU travel movements into and out of the UK and the future possible changes with ‘Brexit’, please call us and speak to our own official veterinarian!


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We are members of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transport Association), which ensures that we have trusted travel partners in every country of the world to ensure Any Animal, Anywhere, Anytime philosophy is maintained with the same high levels of care that we offer.

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