The B word….by Penny Clarke

While we’re waiting for our politicians to wrap up their frustratingly long version of the 'Hokey Cokey', we thought an update on pet travel within the EU would be useful. It’s pretty certain Britain will be ‘out’ and therefore the current pet travel scheme will be ‘shaken about’. (Brexit is taking only slightly longer to complete than the time spent thinking of that pun!)

The current system

If you've already travelled to an EU country with your pet you’ll be familiar with the current passport system. A passport is issued by a vet once your pet has been micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. At each border crossing this passport and your pet’s microchip details are checked by an official. Your pet needs to be given an approved tapeworm treatment by a vet between 1 and 5 days before re-entry to the UK.

After Brexit

Once Britain has left the EU it will be classed as a third country. There are three categories of third countries within the EU pet travel scheme:

  • Unlisted
  • Part one listed
  • Part two listed


Unlisted (the very complicated option)

If Britain leaves the EU and no deal is in place then it will be classed as unlisted according to the EU pet travel scheme. Current pet passports would be invalid.

In order for your dogs, cats or ferrets to travel to an EU country they would need:

  • a micro-chip
  • a vaccination against rabies
  • a blood test proving immunity to rabies taken 30 days after vaccination
  • a certificate showing this positive blood test result issued by an EU approved laboratory
  • to wait 3 months from the date of the blood test
  • an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) to be issued by your vet 10 days prior to travel
  • a new AHC each time you travelled with your pet


If your pet was up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations then a repeat blood test would not be necessary each time an AHC was issued.

Part one listed (the least complicated option)

Part one listed status allows the UK to be included in the EU pet travel scheme under similar rules to EU member states. This is how the current pet passport system operates. Your pet would still need a microchip and vaccination against rabies. Current EU pet passports would be invalid and a new, replacement UK document would need to be issued by your vet.

Part two listed (‘somewhere in the middle’ level of complication)

If the UK becomes a part two listed country, your pet would need to be micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. Proof of this vaccination along with your pet’s details would be needed by your vet who could then issue an AHC. As for unlisted countries, an AHC would be needed each time your pet travelled abroad. A blood test proving your pet’s immunity to rabies would not be required.

What should you do now?

While Britain is still part of the EU your pet’s current passport is valid. Your pet can travel to EU countries with an up-to-date passport. A vet must give an approved preventative tapeworm treatment between 1-5 days before returning to the UK.

If your pet doesn’t have a pet passport your vet will need to check their microchip (or insert one) and give a vaccination against rabies. We advise a blood test is carried out 30 days after this vaccination. The reason for this is to ensure your pet will be allowed to travel whichever category of country Britain is included in after Brexit. It’s a good idea to delay travel for 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken. If Britain becomes unlisted then your pet would already satisfy the criteria for travel.

And finally….

As soon as it's been decided which category of country Britain will be included in post-Brexit, we'll issue exact instructions about how to travel with your pet.

Please speak to us if you would like individual advice for your pet. If you don’t fancy taking your pet abroad until after Brexit then we wouldn’t blame you one bit….Britain has some great beaches!  


social Facebook

social Instagram

social linkedin

Opening Times