The Potential Impact of Brexit on the Pet Travel Scheme - Cockburn Vets Skip to content

The Potential Impact of Brexit on the Pet Travel Scheme

Currently dogs, cats and ferrets, which are pets, travel to Europe and back using the Pet Travel Scheme. Brexit means the rule which govern this may change. If the UK leaves the EU on the recently agreed date of 11th April 2019 WITHOUT a deal we may be treated as an unlisted country. This would mean that the following steps would need to be taken:

1. You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before travel.

2. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to us about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test. Providing your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date with boosters before the expiry date of the previous vaccination, a successful blood test will only needed the first time you travel to an EU country after Brexit.

3. The blood sample needs to be tested by an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.

4. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful. This means your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.

5. You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.

6. You must take your pet to an Official Veterinarians (OV), together with proof of their vaccination history and a successful rabies antibody blood test result, no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate. Our practice has 3 OVs qualified to provide this documentation. Your pet will need a health certificate for each trip to the EU.

7. The OV will examine your pet and where appropriate issue a pet health certificate which is valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • 4 months of onward travel within the EU
  • re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets would be required to enter through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, the pet owner may be asked to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate.


Pet Travel Brexit Return to the UK

Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:

  • an existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens)
  • the EU health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU
  • a UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only)

Check the routes before you travel. On existing approved routes your documents and microchip will be checked. If you’re not travelling on an approved route you will need to talk to your vet about what preparations you need to make before travel.

There will be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU after 11 April.

Travel from countries that are not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis).

You’ll need to take your dog to a vet between one and five days before returning to the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment. You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

More information can be found at or by contacting the Pet Travel Scheme Helpline by email or telephone 0370 241 1710.

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