If you thought only human beings would be impacted by the enforcement of Brexit once it happens in March 2019, then let us correct your misconception: your pets are also going to be impacted by it.
Of course, animals don’t care much about what we do to our economy, or whether they can travel freely from one place to the other, but if they can’t travel with you on your vacation to any place in Europe, then it does become a matter of concern for you because it’s not easy finding someone who can take care of your pet for the lengthy period of time that you are away.
How Brexit Will Impact Pet Owners
As part of the European Union, Britons don’t have to worry about taking their pets with them when travelling to Europe. However, now that an agreement has not been reached between Britain and Europe, the former is going to be treated just like any other country. This means that the legal regulations which non-EU countries have to comply with will become applicable on Britain as well.
For pet owners, there would be an additional condition. When travelling to the European Union with their pet, pet owners would have to acquire a medical certification for their pet from a vet certifying that their pet is healthy enough to be entering the region. Getting this certificate will cost British citizens approximately USD 72, an expense which they did not have to incur while taking their pet along with them.
And what’s worse, this certification would need to be acquired every time Britons decide to travel to the EU, regardless of whether they had recently taken a trip. This means that those who frequently travel to the EU could expect to accumulate a hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of dollars in bills pertaining to these certifications.
An Unlisted Country
If a deal is not reached between Britain and the European Union by the date that Brexit officially comes into effect, which is scheduled to happen on 29th March 2019, then the status of Britain will change from a member of the EU to becoming an unlisted country, immediately bringing into effect many additional checks and restrictions on the country.
The Chief Veterinary Officer in the UK, Christine Middlemiss, is of the opinion that since there are thousands of people with pets in the UK who love to take them along on trips to the EU, demand for these certifications will rack up pretty quickly once the date of Brexit approaches nearer. That is why Middlemiss has advised all pet owners to obtain relevant certifications for their pets as soon as possible to avoid additional hindrances while travelling to the EU.
Vets Have Already Been Contacted
According to Middlemiss, this upcoming issue has already been brought to the attention of vets so that they remain prepared when requests for such medical certifications come pouring in. Basically, the test is supposed to highlight the rabies antibody levels in pets to ascertain whether they have a sufficient amount present in their blood stream, and hence a blood test of the pet would be necessary.
The timelines are also crucial and something you should keep in mind. For the test to be valid, it needs to be conducted three months in advance from the date of your travels, and after 30 days of any rabies vaccinations which your pet has received in the initial stages. This means that those people who want to travel into the EU from Britain immediately after March 2019 should be getting their pet’s tests and medical certifications sorted starting now.
But that’s not all. Once you have the required documentation in place, please note that this health certificate would remain valid for only a 10-day period during which you must enter the EU, otherwise the certificate will expire and you will have to acquire a new one after following due process. Cumulatively the entire process is expected to take approx. $260 out of your wallet, which is obviously costly. But what’s more worrisome is the massive demand for these certifications which vets around Britain would have to entertain if a deal is not signed.