Will I still be able to take my pet abroad after Brexit?

People who want to take their family pet abroad may be facing extra hurdles if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

By Gemma Jimmison
Thursday, 31st January 2019, 7:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 8:10 pm

At the minute, you need a pet passport for your dog, cat or ferret if they’ll be travelling from the UK to the EU and vice versa.

Pet passports list the different treatments your pet has had and ensures they are microchipped and up to date with their rabies vaccine, if necessary.

The passport means your beloved pet won't have to go into quarantine on arrival into the country.

If the UK leaves without a deal, then the rules will change and pet passports issued in the UK would no longer be valid.

In this case, pet owners would need to get a health certificate - and the bad news is, this will take at least four months. Your pet will need a rabies vaccine with blood samples (to be sent to an EU-approved laboratory) taken 30 days after the jab. You will then have to wait three months after the samples come back clear.

However, reader Kevin Regan got in touch to say that, in his experience, the test (called a titer test) is not as straight-forward as it sounds. He warns that the process may take much longer than the four months advised by the government.

He said: "The rabies test has to show the pet has a antibody level greater than 0.5. However, there is no certainty that even a fully correctly-vaccinated dog with an updated booster less than weight months ago will pass.

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"When you read up about the titer test, it merrily states "antibodies may wane rapidly within five to eight weeks of the vaccination". Given that you have to wait 30 days before taking the blood sample, it just gives five days for a test before the antibodies MAY "wane rapidly".

"I now face the prospect of having both dogs re-vaccinated, even though the vaccine is supposed to provide three years protection before requiring a booster. That's why I thought it would be a formality - not so!

"The only advice offered is to re-vaccinate using a different rabies vaccine brand - at my expense and then get another set of blood test at least 30 days after re-vaccination, and with no guarantee that this will be successful. It really is unbelievable, let alone the expense incurred."

Pet owners are advised to contact their vet for up to date advice as soon as possible - but at least four months before they are planning on travelling.

Visit www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/pet-passport for more information.