How will Brexit affect the Pet Passport Scheme?

Suzanne CorganStandardLeave a Comment

What affect will a “no deal” Brexit have on the Pet Passport and freedom travel?

Before BREXIT there was the impending doom we were all led to believe was going to happen in the millennium. Whole computer networks would crash, our mobiles phones would cease to work, microwaves would implode, planes would fall from the sky and the four horsemen would come galloping over Hampstead Heath….OK so I made up a few…point is, we were led to believe that the end of the world would happen, or at least the end of the cyber world.

Sometimes people always want to look for the worst possible scenario, largely led by the press, some more than others… Why does everything have to be doom and gloom? Why can’t we look at a best-case scenario, or even the mid-case scenario?!!

I am a glass half full kind of girl, when life throws lemons, make lemonade etc etc  There has to be a positive to all of this!

“Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Let’s see what Brexit means to us animal lovers. Will it be lemons lemonade?!!

Before we joined the EU the UK was an island with tight borders against pet transport, with pets having to go into quarantine for 6 months on arrival, regardless of how healthy they seemed. It was archaic and needed changing. There is a whole world out there and who better to share it with than some four legged best friends! Pet Passports made this possible.

The Pet Passport scheme was introduced on October 1st 2001. My friend’s dog, Halle, the liver Flatcoat, was the first dog to be allowed through on the scheme. They drove from the UK to France where she had been living in preparation for her move to the UK.  They sat waiting excitedly at the Chunnel check in to get the first train after midnight. How amazing to have been a part of such an iconic moment.

Gemma, Halle’s human, says “Halle was born in Slovenia, travelled to Germany for a month, then to the World dog show in Paris where she was picked up and stayed with my friends in south of France for 6 months until I could collect her,…….Opening up the passport scheme has led to responsible breeders in the UK widening their gene pools for the benefit of the breed, I have now imported 3 more dogs from Europe to help with this”

As far as responsible breeders are concerned it has been a great thing for their breed.  This probably applies to the cat world too.

In the beginning….

When it was started up the worry was how it would open up to abuse of the system. At first it seemed OK, most people played it by the book. I, myself, in 2004, had my Golden Retriever Charley all vaccinated and her passport in place. Back then it cost a small fortune. (even by vets of today’s standards!) Now it is such an easy and affordable system.

And now?

Over the years I have heard different stories of how unscrupulous ‘people’ flout and abuse the system, from not declaring their dog or cat, to declaring one, not the other, to all out exploitation, cramming loads of under-age pups from puppy and kitten farms in Eastern Europe, into crates literally piled on top of each other, pooing, puking and peeing over each other. They get smuggled through, along with a whole list of illnesses that are, in some cases, contagious to other dogs, cats and humans.

That said over one million pets have successfully travelled, legally, into the UK, using the passport system. It has been a brilliant thing for pet lovers who want their pet to travel on holiday with them.

Just how devastating would it be if we were to lose this incredible option on pet travel?

OK so, just to be clear, this is not an expert opinion, as in I work with DEFRA or the APHA, this is just one of someone who has helped hundreds of people to transport their pet into and out of the UK in a professional, legal capacity.

When it was announced that we would be leaving people could only speculate as to what the affect and the repercussions would be.  As we get closer to D -Day, the information we can obtain is more informed and as a consequence more accurate as to what could happen in the next 6 months to a year.

However, I am going to put this out there…….. IMHO, Not that devastating….. Like the millennium, this has all been blown out of proportion.

The government website predicts the following:

“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal, it would become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme.”

What would this mean? Not much really according to the site:

“Should the UK become a Part 1 listed country, there would be little change to the current pet travel arrangements, with only minor changes needed to documentation for travel between the UK and EU and no change for pet owners from what they currently need to do in terms of health preparations.”

Should the UK become a Part 2 listed country, there would be some new requirements, but they would not be as burdensome as those for unlisted status. There would be no requirement for a blood titre test, which would remove the three month waiting period before travel, although pet owners would still need to ensure rabies vaccinations were kept up to date. Before a pet could travel from the UK to an EU country for the first time, it would still need to be taken to an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least 21 days in advance. The OV would ensure the animal has a microchip and rabies vaccination.”

So a part 1 or part 2 listed country, there really isn’t a huge difference. It might cost a bit more but a small price to pay for the luxury of being able to transport your pet around Europe with you.

If you need someone to transport them for you be careful to research who you use thoroughly. We have been helping people for over 10 years now so are confident that if you have concerns about how to transport your pet, in a way that doesn’t compromise their health and well being, we can help. Contact us to discuss how we can ease the burden and stress for you. It really is that easy. 


You also need to make sure that you have all insurances in place in case you need to rush them to the vets. Belts and braces!

So, get the kettle on, give the dog his dinner and the cat his catnip and start to plan your 2019 vacation. It will all be fine. Don’t panic!

Information sources:

BBC News article

Government website

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