Brexit: Pet owners urged to 'consult vet before travel'

Brexit: Pet owners urged to 'consult vet before travel'

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Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies before traveling.

Brexit's impact on visiting the EU with their animals.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said it should be ready to petition.

What does that mean for pet owners who travel between NI and the Republic?

There are currently no checks on pets traveling between NI and the Republic of rabies is not present on the island, but pets should have passports.

What are the current rules?

What are you looking for?

The authorities have taken a "pragmatic risk-based approach" to cross-border pet travel, according to Simon Doherty of the British Veterinary Association.

The island of Ireland has not had an outbreak of rabies and the risk is considered very low.

However, in a no-deal Brexit, UK pets would be treated as "unlisted country" into the EU.

Three months before the animal travels, that means they have to be microchipped, have a rabies vaccination, have a blood test to check the efficacy of the vaccination.

Only then can a veterinary health certificate be signed off by the animal movement – and that certificate only has a 10-day lifespan.

It might be that in time the UK would qualify for a listing under the EU scheme, making the process a little less onerous.

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Pet owners should consult their vet at least four months before traveling to EU.

Practical advice

Sufficient quantities of rabies antibody.

The blood test would take a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before their travel date.

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said they were "practical and straightforward" in the "unlikely event of a no-deal situation".

"I urge all pet owners who wish to come soon." 29 March 2019 to consult with their friends as soon as they can, "she said.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) re-iterated the guidance from Westminster.

"This is the case for all possible scenarios," a spokesperson said.

"DAERA has recently been in contact with Northern Ireland vets to highlight this issue."

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