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Brexit and the pet travel scheme

When Britain leaves the EU, there are three potential outcomes for how the UK will be ‘listed’ with regards to pets travelling abroad.

Potential Outcome 1

The UK becomes a Part 1 listed country.

If the UK ends up as a Part 1 listed country, the set-up with regards to pet passports & rabies vaccinations will remain pretty much as it is at the moment. Very little will change.

Potential Outcome 2

The UK becomes a Part 2 listed country.

If the UK ends up as a Part 2 listed country, all the current passport regulations would still apply but animals would also require a Model Health Certificate to travel.

It is expected that a model health certificate would be issued by an official veterinarian at least 21 days after the Rabies vaccination and within 10 days of travel. The certificate would be valid for 4 months for travel within the EU.

Potential Outcome 3

The UK becomes an Unlisted country.

If the UK became an unlisted country, the following requirements would need to be adhered to:

  • A blood sample would need to be taken 30 days after vaccination with Rabies.
  • Your pet would not be able to travel until it had a certificate with a required antibody titre from an approved laboratory and 3 months had elapsed since the date of blood sampling.
  • Your pet would also require a Model Health Certificate.
  • Your pet would have to enter the EU via a designated traveller's point of entry (as yet, unspecified location).

All of the above outcomes are possible, therefore this should be considered by all pet owners when gaining Pet Passports.

Serious consideration should also be given with regards to Rabies blood sampling if you are determined to take your pets away with you after Brexit. It may be sensible for you to have the blood test carried out in case the UK becomes unlisted. The risk of this strategy is that the you may have the blood test done and then find out it was unnecessary if the UK becomes a Part 1 or 2 listed country.

How urgent is this?

In the event that the UK becomes an unlisted country after Brexit, it will take at least 3 and up to 4 months for your pet to be able to travel.

The actions required are not set in stone. However, if you have travel plans for the near future, it’s best to plan for the worst – so your pet will need the following:

  • To be fully vaccinated or boosted
  • To be free of Rabies according to their blood test
  • To get a Health Certificate