Pet owners reminded to seek advice on travel plans ahead of 31 October

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Pet owners are being encouraged to revisit official advice about travelling to the EU with their pets after the UK leaves the EU.

In the event that the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October, pet owners will need to take some additional steps to ensure they can still travel. This includes a blood test a minimum of 30 days after its last rabies vaccination (whether that’s a booster or initial vaccination) and a three calendar month wait before travel.

If pet owners are planning to travel from November onwards, they should contact their vet at least four months in advance of their travel date. For example, those wishing to travel to the EU on 1 November 2019 should discuss requirements with their vet by the 1 July at the latest.

All the 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 already have taken action.

In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, all UK pets travelling to the EU will need to have 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 that’s a booster or initial vaccination) and a minimum of three calendar months before their travel date.

Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, said:

This is a reminder for pet owners of our practical and straightforward advice for pet travel if the UK were to leave the EU in a no-deal situation.

Those pet owners who wish to travel with their pets immediately after 31 October 2019 should consult with their vet as soon as they can. This is about planning ahead to ensure their pet has the correct health protection documented and in place for all possible Exit scenarios.

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 stay up to date with the latest advice on pet travel on GOV.UK or by searching ‘pet travel’.

New video content, available for publication by media outlets, can be accessed here. This includes a case study video of a dog owner who travels to the EU frequently with her dogs and a video of the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, explaining the guidance.

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