Pet Owners Warned Of Four-Month Delay When Travelling Between UK And EU Spain News

UPDATE (14/12/2020) - PET TRAVEL: UK Granted 'Part 2 Listed' Status By EU -

Pet travel between the UK and the EU will change from January 2021 with owners warned of a waiting period of up to four months when taking their pets abroad.

During the Brexit transition period, travel rules for those travelling with cats, dogs and ferrets will remain the same, however, when the transition period ends on December 31 the process will change.

As a result, the British government has warned owners that they should begin preparations to start the process and obtain the latest information from their vets at least four months in advance to avoid any issues.

From January, the UK will become a ‘third-country’, however, third-countries can still apply to the European Commission to be listed as either unlisted, part 1 listed or part 2 listed.

The pet travel requirements will therefore change and will depend on what category the UK is listed under on 1 January 2021.

If the UK becomes ‘unlisted’, the current EU pet passports issued in the UK will no longer be valid for travel to the EU.

The new rules would mean that those looking to travel with their pets in January 2021 would need to start making plans from this September.

If the UK does become unlisted, owners would have to follow the following steps to make sure their pets can travel to EU countries.

  • All cats, dogs and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies and be microchipped.
  • Pets must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its last rabies vaccination (whether a booster or initial vaccination). A rabies booster vaccination may be recommended by your vet before this test.
  • Blood tests will then be sent to an EU testing laboratory.
  • You must then wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you may travel.
  • The vet must give you a copy of the results and record the day the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate (AHC).

Travel will not be possible unless the steps above have been carried out.

In the event that the blood test result is not successful, you will need a repeat vaccination and another blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination.

Getting an Animal Health Certificate (AHC)

To get your Animal Health Certificate, you must take your animal to your vets no more than 10 days prior to travel. The certificate will also need to signed by your vet.

A new certificate will be required every time you travel to the EU.

You will then need to take the following with you when you travel.

  • Your pet’s vaccination history
  • Proof including the date your pet was microchipped
  • 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 the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

If the paperwork has not been completed correctly, your pet could be quarantined for up to four months.

On arrival in the EU

When you arrive in the EU you will have to enter via a Travellers Point of Entry or TPE.

You can see a list of the TPE’s here.

You will then need to present proof of the following.

  • Your pet’s microchip
  • Rabies vaccination details
  • Successful blood test results
  • Tapeworm treatment (if required)
  • Your pet’s health certificate

Returning To The UK

The good news is that there will be no change to the current health preparations for pets returning to the Uk from January 1, 2021.

You will need to present one of the following documents:-

  • An EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK before 1 January 2021)
  • The AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued)
  • A UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

UK nationals living in the EU

If you currently live in the EU and intend to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your vet to make sure they are compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

If you are in possession of a pet passport which was issued by an EU member country, you can use it to take your pet to the UK.

You can also use it to return to the EU, as long as your pet has had a successful rabies antibody blood test. You must make sure the blood sample is taken at least 30 days after the date of rabies vaccination.

If the blood sample is taken in the UK, you must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel back to the EU. You do not have to wait the 3 months before travelling if your pet has a successful blood test before 1 January 2021.

The information above is based on the UK becoming an ‘unlisted country’ from January 1, 2021. If the UK does apply for different status and this is granted, travel restrictions will most likely be a lot easier with reduced waiting time.

For further details, please see the UK government’s official page.

Image Credit: Gundula Vogel from Pixabay