At present there has been no agreement on pet travel between the UK and the EU, therefore if no agreement is reached, from 1st January 2021, the rules for travelling to EU countries with your pet will change.
While the UK government has said it remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached, if it is not then pet owners will need to contact their vets 4 months prior to travel to discuss the latest requirements including the documentation and vaccinations needed. This means that all pet owners looking to travel with their pets on 1 January will need to contact their vets as soon as possible in order to start this process on 1 September at the latest even if your pet has current vaccinations.
My dog has up-to-date vaccinations what should do I?
You should still contact you vet at least four months before travel. The vet needs to confirm, via a blood test, that your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date and that your pet has the required anti-bodies. Whether it does or not depends on the type brand of vaccine it was given. If the vaccinations are not sufficient then your pet will need to restart the process, which takes four months.
How do I know if my pet’s rabies vaccination is up-to-date? How will I be able to determine whether a blood test is required?
Your vet will be able to refer to your pet’s health treatments and advise on what would be required after the Transition Period. If you are planning to travel after the Transition Period we recommend contacting your vet at least four months in advance to check what you need to do.
My pet previously underwent a successful rabies antibody test. Does it need to have another one?
Provided the blood test was successful and (i) was drawn at least 30 days after the primary rabies vaccination within a current valid vaccination series, (ii) was carried out at a laboratory approved by the EU to carry out rabies antibody tests for the Pet Travel Scheme, and (iii) you have subsequently kept your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date with no gap in rabies vaccinations, there should be no need for another test. If in doubt, please contact your vet.
Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
You must also take your pet to your vet no more than 10 days before travel to get an AHC. (The AHC needs to be signed by an official vet. Check with your vet that they can issue AHCs for pets.)
You must take proof of:
- your pet’s microchipping date
- your pet’s vaccination history
- a successful rabies antibody blood test result
Your pet’s AHC will be valid for:
- 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
- onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue
- re-entry to Great Britain for 4 months after the date of issue
My pet’s vaccinations are not up to date? / I have not travelled abroad with my pet before?
Pet owners will need to take the following steps:
- Get a valid pet passport.
- All pets must be microchipped before or at the same time as their rabies vaccination.
- Vaccinations of dogs, cats or ferrets against rabies are required – the pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
- Each pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its primary rabies vaccination (from a current series of vaccinations). A booster rabies vaccination may be needed before this test.
- Each pet’s blood sample will then be sent to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
- Pet owners must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before they can travel.
- The vet must give pet owners a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in the Animal Health Certificate (AHC).
Pet owners will not be able to travel with their pets if they have not completed these steps.
If the blood test result is not successful, then a repeat vaccination and another blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination will be needed.
The changes affect all pet owners from Britain who want to travel to an EU after 1st January 2021, including the Republic of Ireland.
The changes will affect domestic pets as well as service animals.
For further details please see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pet-owners-reminded-to-seek-advice-on-travel-plans-ahead-of-1-january-2021
Please note: This advice could change as negotiations between the UK and the EU continue, but at present British pet owners need to adhere to the four month period.
During the Brexit Transition Period, Britons can continue to use the existing Pet Passport system to travel with their pets.