The UK is going through the last phases of Brexit negotiations. On 1 January 2021 the country leaves the European Union. It’s a complex process and one of the negotiation points is the pet travel passport scheme, which UK citizens have enjoyed as members of the EU and which simplifies dramatically the movement of pets between European countries.
It’s now disclosed that within the negotiations the EU has decided that the UK will be granted “Part 2 listed” status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. But the UK wants to be granted Part 1 status and there’s no reason why the country shouldn’t be. Part 1 status would revert the country back to the full EU pet passport scheme currently enjoyed. That’s the way it should be because nothing has changed in the UK from before leaving the EU to after it. As there is no change there should be no change to pet travel requirements.
The only reason why the EU is being mean about granting these travel rights to our pets is because they are inherently mean and don’t want to accommodate sensible arguments. At least under this so-called Part 2 listed status it will avoid pet owners having to plan any trip to the Continent three months in advance.
Under this status the British people will only need to visit a veterinarian to obtain an animal health certificate providing evidence that their companion animal has had a rabies injection no more than 10 days before travel to the EU. That itself is rather bizarre since rabies was eradicated from the UK many, many years ago (rabies-free from 1922!)
The granting of Part 2 listed status will hold notwithstanding that negotiations may break down and we have a hard Brexit, without agreement. The UK government is pressing the EU to go further to Part 1 status, and rightly so. The new rules will apply between Britain and Northern Ireland as well.
Cat, dog and ferret owners should be fully aware of the new rules, however, because they have changed but at least there is some clarification now. They are summarised below (from UK government website):
- Ensure their dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.
- Ensure that their dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
- Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
- Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before landing, if they are travelling to a tapeworm free country.
- Visit their vet to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.