Travellers from Britain wanting to take their dogs, cats or ferrets with them on a trip to the EU next year had long been warned that Brexit meant things would get a lot more complicated.
With the end of the UK's participation in the EU pet passport scheme animal owners were warned to contact their vets four months before their trip to take the necessary steps for travel, including getting a blood antibody test for the pet.
But with the EU confirming that it is in favour of granting the UK “part 2 listed status” for the purpose of non-commercial pet travel after the end of the transition period, things should be slightly more straightforward, although travelling with animals won't be as easy as it has been.
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Being granted “part 2 listed status” means pet owners still need to get hold of an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from an accredited vet prior to travel.
Unlike the old system where pets got a passport, now a new certificate will be required for each trip.
Here's what we know so far about the new rules under part 2 listed status.
- All pet owners from the UK will need an AHC for travel after January 1st 2021.
- Vets in the UK can start issuing AHC's from December 22nd 2020.
- To get an AHC pet owners must take proof of their pet’s microchipping date, pet’s vaccination history.
- Pets will be need to be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel
- An AHC is valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
- The certificate is valid for a single trip to the EU
- It is valid for onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue
- The AHC is valid for re-entry to GB for 4 months after the date of issue.
- AHCs are available as dual-language certificates written in both English and the official language of each EU country, so pet owners should ask the vet for the appropriate language certificate depending on where they are visiting.
Travelling from the EU to the UK will be easier because the UK has stated that for the moment it will continue to accept EU Pet Passports issued before January 2021. Your Pet Passport and microchip information will be checked at the border.
An Animal Health Certificate issued within four months will also be valid for re-entry to the UK.
If you have a pet passport issued by an EU member state, you can use it to bring your pet to Great Britain and to return to the EU, as long as your pet has been vaccinated against rabies.
A UK government spokesperson said: “With the EU granting ‘part 2’ listed third-country status for pet travel between Great Britain and the EU, further guidance on pet travel will be published shortly.”
The Local will update these rules when more information is made available by the British government.
*This article has been amended since it was first published to remove mention that pet owners needed “a rabies antibody blood test result (taken at least 21 days after getting the rabies vaccine)”. This is in fact only the case if the UK were an unlisted country.