The UK’s Brexit transition period is set to come to an end this year which means that from 1 January 2021 traveling with your pet from the UK to Europe will change.
At the end of the Brexit transition period the UK will no longer be a part of the EU’s Pet Travel Scheme which allows for the free movement of cats, dogs and ferrets in the EU bloc without the need for quarantine.
This week the UK government updated its advice for British pet owners encouraging them to check the latest
Pet owners are being encouraged to check the latest government advice about traveling from Great Britain to the European Union with their pets at the end of the EU exit transition period.
During the transition period, pet parents have been able to continue to travel with their pets using a Pet Passport. The UK government is working with the European Commission to ensure a similar arrangement for pet travel between the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021.
However, if an agreement is not reached there could be new requirements in place for those traveling with a pet from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021.
If pet parents are planning to travel from January 2021 onwards then they should contact their vet at least four months in advance of their travel date to discuss the latest requirements, including the documentation and vaccinations needed.
For example, this would mean those wishing to travel with their pet from the UK to the EU on 1 January 2021 should discuss the relevant documentation their vet by 1 September at the latest.
Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, said, “We continue to be in contact with vets to highlight this issue and they are expecting pet owners to consult with them and plan ahead. Pet owners can also stay up to date with the latest advice on gov.uk or by searching ‘pet travel’.”
Updated guidance on pet travel has been available since November 2018, so many pet owners will already be familiar with that they need to do and some may have already taken action. There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering Great Britain from the EU from 1 January 2021.
In May it was reported that UK pets will need an EU pet passport to travel from Northern Ireland after the end of the Brexit transition period. The creation of this internal “pet border” in the UK from 1 January 2021 is a result of the Withdrawal Agreement the UK’s prime minister negotiated with the EU.
For a breakdown of possible scenarios after the Brexit transition period, click here.
The latest advice for pet owners seeking to travel to the EU after 1 January 2021 can be found here.
While it seems that the UK is negotiating with the EU to keep pet travel arrangements similar to the current EU pet travel scheme, pet parents should start preparing now in the event of that UK is unable to reach a deal. If the UK becomes an ‘Unlisted country’ it would make travel to Europe far more complicated and would mean far more preparation and money spent at the vet for more vaccinations and possibly more tests.
Right now taking your dog across the channel to Europe requires the UK pet passport which makes it easy for pet families to take their pets along for the adventure. After the transition, if no deal is reached then these trips would be more difficult and could result in more staycations or pets will have to be left in the care of others such as in a kennel, or with a dog sitter.
Many British people consider their dogs as family members and would be happy to take their dogs along for the adventure rather than leave them at home. If an agreement is made that ensures similarity to the EU pet travel scheme, then pet parents and their pets will be much happier and more inclined to travel abroad with their dogs.