Changes to Pet Travel in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit

What you need to know

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that should the UK leave the EU without a deal, there would be important implications for pet owners wishing to travel overseas with their animals after Brexit.

Both owners and veterinary professionals need to be aware of and potentially act upon these implications as soon as possible. 

Defra therefore launched a communications campaign on 6 November 2018 to advise pet owners what they need to do in a no-deal scenario, and asked us to alert all UK-practising veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to the key facts, as follows.


Key messages for veterinary professionals

To travel with their pet from a third country to the EU, owners need to prove their animals are effectively vaccinated against rabies, with a blood titre test required to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody. This needs to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination. A period of 3 months must then be allowed to pass before pets can travel to the EU.

This means owners who want to be sure they are able to travel with their pet whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations need to visit the vet at least 4 months in advance of their travel date. Visit the website to find out more about pet travel to Europe after Brexit.

Whilst Defra states it is confident that the UK will secure a deal with the EU, if there is no deal, it anticipates that, based on the UK’s current health status, it would be able to secure listed status to allow easier movement of pets between the UK and EU.

Defra has also sent a briefing note to Official Veterinarians outlining the pet travel arrangements in a no-deal scenario. This is available to view on the APHA Vet Gateway.

Further information is also available in the Government’s Technical Notice about pet travel if there is no Brexit deal.

We emailed this information to all UK-practising veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses on 6 November 2018.


Information for pet owners

We have set out a summary for pet owners on our animal owners website.

Defra has also produced a range of digital communication resources, including a short video and some display posters, which are available to download/watch below.