Pet Passports & Animal Health Certificates – Forbes Advisor UK

For almost two decades, pet owners who enjoy vacationing abroad – or who own a second home abroad – have been able to travel with their cat or dog with relative ease, thanks to the “Pet passport”.

When introduced, the program was a real game-changer, as it allowed Britons to take their pets on unlimited trips to and from the rest of the European Union (EU) without the need for an unpleasant and stressful quarantine – and with a minimum of bureaucracy.

But, following Brexit, a lot has changed.

How did the UK pet passport regime work before Brexit?

Until early 2021, when the UK was part of the EU, as long as your cat or dog had a valid European passport showing they were microchipped and up to date with vaccinations, you could travel freely with your pet to an EU. countries – and vice versa. This was allowed under the EU’s pet travel program.

And after Brexit?

Since we left the EU on January 1, 2021, pet passports in their old form have ceased to be valid. The EU has removed the UK from its ‘Listed Part 1’ status in the Pet Travel Program and will no longer accept pet passports issued in the UK.

While there is still no quarantine requirement, we have now achieved “Listed Part 2” status. As a result, there is more paperwork involved in taking a dog or cat abroad.

Now, if you want to travel to the EU or Northern Ireland with your pet, you need a Animal health certificate do this.

What is an animal health certificate?

One of these certificates confirms that your cat or dog has been microchipped and successfully vaccinated against rabies.

Specifically, the documents include information about your pet’s age, size and breed, details of their microchip, copies of vaccination records, as well as details on tapeworm treatment (if applicable). .

It is important to note that vaccines should be given at least 21 days before travel. With this in mind, it is advisable to start the process early.

Also note that the certificate must be in the language of the destination in which you are arriving.

How to get an animal health certificate?

This document must be issued by a veterinarian at the latest 10 days before the admission of an animal into the EU. Considering these times, you should plan your appointment carefully.

If your local vet doesn’t offer animal health certificates, ask if they can refer you to a vet who does.

How long is it valid?

The certificate is valid for four months. It can be used for a single trip to the EU, for a subsequent trip within the EU and for a return to the UK.

How much does it cost?

An animal health certificate will cost around £ 110, according to the Royal Veterinary College. And you will need a new one every time you travel. For comparison, the old pet passport cost around £ 60.

In addition to the £ 110, you will also need to pay the costs of treatment and vaccination that your pet needs. You can expect to pay anywhere from £ 15 to £ 20 to chip your pet, and £ 50 to £ 60 for a rabies injection.

Given the changes, it is advisable to speak to your veterinarian well in advance of your scheduled departure date. This should give you enough time to go through all the necessary steps, such as performing the right procedures and aligning the correct documentation.

To learn more about how to take your pet abroad, visit Government website.

Could the current situation change?

The government insists the UK meets all requirements for ‘Part 1 Listed’ status and continues to press the European Commission to stay on this part of the pet travel program. But for now, at least, the situation described above is the status quo.

What about pets entering the UK?

Following Brexit, there has been no change in health preparations for pets entering the UK from the EU. The UK will still accept pet passports issued in an EU country for entry into the UK, as EU countries continue to have “Part 1 Listed” status in the UK. pet travel program.

What about non-EU countries?

If you are traveling to a non-EU country, you will likely need an export health certificate with your pet. This shows that your dog or cat meets the health requirements of this destination. As with the animal health certificate, this must be signed by a veterinarian.

Before traveling to a non-EU country, it is worth checking government guidelines carefully a few months in advance. It is also advisable to talk to your vet about it.

Where does pet insurance come in?

Pet insurance policies will usually cover unforeseen overseas veterinary expenses for your cat or dog, as long as all the documents required to travel are in place. But don’t assume that’s always the case.

If not, see if your insurer can offer additional coverage for overseas charges – for an additional fee.

Generally speaking, pet insurance policies will not cover routine procedures such as microchip and vaccinations – nor will they cover the cost of a pet passport or certificate. animal health.

That said, some policies may include coverage to replace your pet’s animal health certificate if it is damaged or lost, or coverage if your pet’s microchip fails.

If you are not sure what is or is not included in your policy, contact your insurer in time to verify.

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Boyd S. Abbott

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