At present owners of dogs, cats and ferrets can travel with their animals to and from EU countries provided they hold a valid EU passport.
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal it would become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme and this would alter how pets can travel between countries. Pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirement s for documents and health checks would differ depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day we leave the EU.
At present it is unknown which category of third country the UK will become if it did. For this reason it is advised that any pet wishing to travel after March 2019 follows the protocol if the UK become an unlisted third country. These means that all pet owners would need to prove their pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies before they could travel to EU countries. This would require a blood titre test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody, which would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination.
There are three possibilities:
- Pets that have previously had a blood titre test and whose rabies vaccinations are up to date would not be required to repeat the blood test before travel.
- Pets that have not previously had a blood titre test but whose rabies vaccinations are up to date would be required to have the blood test carried out prior to travel. If the results show sufficient levels of antibody, a three month waiting period before travel would still be required from the date of the blood test to ensure no rabies symptoms developed. If the result shows insufficient levels of antibody your pet will be treated as if the rabies vaccination were not up to date. We would recommend repeating the rabies vaccination before a blood sample is taken to be on the safe side.
- Pets that have not previously had a blood titre test and never had a rabies vaccination or the vaccination is not up to date would be required to have a rabies vaccination before the blood titre test. There must be a 30 day waiting period before the blood sample is taken for the titre test to allow time for sufficient rabies antibodies to develop. Once a blood titre test shows sufficient levels of antibody, there must be a three month waiting period between the date the blood is taken and the date of travel.
Also once the rabies vaccination shows sufficient levels of antibody, pets would need to be brought to the practice to see a veterinary surgeon prior for travelling to the EU. We will then issue a health certificate confirming the pet was appropriately identified and vaccinated against rabies. This document would be valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU and for 4 months of onward travel within the EU.
We are advising everyone who is wishing to travel to an EU country next year to come and speak to one of our vets at least FOUR months prior to the date they intend to travel with their pet. To make an appointment to see one of veterinary surgeons please ring our Redruth surgery on 01209 214737 or Camborne surgery on 01209 718281