Brexit: Preparing for Pet Travel over Christmas and New Year

28 August 2019

BSAVA members who are OVs will be aware that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, pet owners need to visit their vet four months before travelling. Defra is currently reiterating to pet owners that they need to prepare for all scenarios, including ‘No Deal’ and that if they are planning a trip to the EU over the Christmas and New Year period they need to speak to their vet before the end of August 2019 to obtain guidance. As a result, this may cause a spike in enquiries and visits to OV vet practices, including requests for related blood sampling.

Defra is reminding pet owners that they will need to ensure their pet has a microchip, an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody. The blood test needs to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after its last rabies vaccination (whether it’s a booster or initial vaccination) and a minimum of three calendar months before travel. A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU. Instead, pet owners would need to apply an Animal Health Certificate no more than 10 days before travel.

Defra guidance on how to prepare is available at ( Defra have also prepared digital assets which veterinary practices may find useful to use in informing clients of pet travel requirements: (link will open in recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari). These include posters, flyers/check lists and social media materials

Specific information for OVs is available from Defra/APHA at:

For any further information, the Pet Travel Helpline can be contacted by e-mail or Telephone: 0370 241 1710 on Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)

The most recent BSAVA news articles on Brexit and Pet Travel can be accessed here and here