British Veterinary Association warns that no deal pet travel arrangements will impact on vets and owners

06 November 2018

BVA President Simon Doherty

BVA has warned that pet
owners must start preparing now if they want to take their pet to the EU after
Brexit, in case a no deal situation leaves them facing long waits to get them
cleared for travel.

If
the UK has “unlisted” third country status following withdrawal from the EU, dogs,
cats and ferrets would need to prove they have been effectively vaccinated
against rabies by undergoing a rabies antibody titration test at least thirty days after vaccination
and no fewer than three months before their travel date. Pets would need to travel with an animal
health certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian, which would then be valid
for ten days from the date of issue until entry into EU member states.

BVA has warned that the changes could lead to a surge in demand
for vets to carry out testing and vaccination, at a time when the workforce is
also experiencing shortages and recruitment problems.

Simon
Doherty, BVA President, said: “Vets are urging pet owners to start planning now
if they want to travel with their pet post-Brexit to avoid disappointment and ensure
that all the tests and checks required in the event of a no deal situation have
been completed in good time. Leaving the EU with no agreement in place
could lead to owners facing longer waits to get their pet cleared for travel
and higher costs for the required vaccination, treatments and health
certificates each time they leave the UK.

“We
are also concerned that pet travel changes under a no deal Brexit could spark a
surge in demand for small animal vets and laboratory capacity to fulfil increased
requirements for rabies testing and vaccination at a time when the workforce is
already experiencing shortfalls. It's vital that the government engages
with the workforce and takes steps to ensure there is adequate capacity in
place. Reinstating vets on the shortage occupation list would make a huge
difference at this critical point.”

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