Pet Travel After Brexit: Taking your dog to the EU can cost you £300.


If you’re thinking of taking your dog to another place in Europe this year, be prepared for an expensive and time-consuming headache.

Pet owners say they will have to separate hundreds of pounds for necessary paperwork after Brexit rule changes.

Pet passports issued in the UK are no longer valid for travel to EU countries (you can still use pet passports issued in EU countries, Northern Ireland or a few other places, but check if this is allowed before you travel).

Before a pet dog (or cat or ferret) can travel to the EU or Northern Ireland, owners must obtain: animal health certificate (AHC).

To get a certificate, your pet must be microchiped and vaccinated against rabies. A rabies jab usually costs around £50, but some veterinarians charge up to £80.

To get an AHC, you must take your pet to the veterinarian and, crucially, do this within 10 days of travel.

Three trips to the EU with your pet, while prices vary widely, you may now face a situation where you will have to pay almost £1,000 for the certificates you need.

Even if you don’t travel until July or August, now is the time to act, as some veterinarians are already over-booked this summer. If veterinarians have to turn away from people, they could threaten a pet version of Britain’s passport delay chaos.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an explosion at the level of pet ownership, but surveys show that the majority of dog owners not sure of the rules Regarding bringing animals to the EU.

Mairead McErlean said this week it will cost £220 to get the English Bulldog Pepper’s AHC, £65 for a rabies jab needed to get the certificate, and £15 for travel deworming. 300 pounds.

She is traveling to Ireland in July and weighs £300 “more than my ferry and my petrol…

Mairead McErlean and her English Bulldog, Pepper.
Mairead McErlean and her English Bulldog, Pepper. Photo by Mairead McErlean

McErlean has a family in Ireland and says: “It would cost her almost £1,000 to take her if she went on her three trips a year, which would have been pretty normal for me before Covid.”

Pepper, who is almost five years old, is a rescue dog and has abandoned issues, so putting it in a kennel is not an option, she adds.

Later in the summer, McErlean is going to France with a friend, and plans to take Pepper with him. So she’ll have to pay at least £220 more, plus any fees that French veterinarians charge for round trip paperwork.

When she called the vet this week, she said July was “really busy” and that she’d be lucky because others had already booked AHC appointments.

Eventually, the vet told McErlean of Milton Keynes that he would squeeze her out.

But she adds: “If my parents are moving permanently to Ireland, what should I do in an emergency? The only option is for my partner to stay at home with Pepper.”

Kennel Club says AHC usually costs money. Between £100 and £200. This usually includes consultation and document review. However, each veterinarian has a set price and there are reports of some veterinarians charging up to £300 or more.

You can add up to 5 pets to your AHC and you will often pay less for additional animals.

a woman It was posted on Facebook earlier this month. She paid £230 to take the two dogs to France. “From there, I got two bug pills and two French pet passports for 34 euros (29 pounds),” she said. However, recently there have been rules for obtaining a French pet passport. was strengthened.

When Guardian Money checked prices this week, it found that many veterinarians in the CVS group, which operate more than 500 practices, are charging £250 for their first pet and £50 for additional animals.

At the cheaper end, we Practicing in Forkstone, KentIt says they charge from £75, in Havent, HampshireThey charge £99 for a standard AHC.

ginger cat sitting on the window sill
The animal health certificate is valid for 4 months. Photo: Konstantin Aksenov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The certificate needs to be signed by an “official veterinarian” or OV, not anyone in the clinic. Some services do not have OV, and those that do often limit the number of AHC appointments you make. We had a conversation with a clinic in northeast London where they book an appointment in one day.

Once issued, AHCs last for 4 months, including travel across Europe.

However, the certificate is only valid for a single trip to the EU. So whenever you make a new trip from the UK to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs a new AHC, even if it’s only been a few weeks since the last AHC was issued.

Veterinarians say the reason certificates can be expensive is because there are so many tasks involved. The form is about 10 pages long and must be completed in English and the language of the EU “country of entry”.

Dr Ed Hayes, head of public affairs at kennel clubCovid travel restrictions delay the impact of AHC, adding that it will “be a bigger problem this year”.

But he said people who own a second home who make multiple trips can get EU pet passports issued by that country. “Find a local veterinarian,” he says.

The British Veterinary Association says that AHC is much more complex and time consuming than the previous EU pet passport system, so you should consider the additional resources required to complete an AHC when setting costs and determining how long you need to provide them. Says. Appointment. “Some practices have had to make the difficult decision not to offer AHC simply because we don’t have the time and ability to do so. It is also important to note that veterinarians are required to be certified official veterinarians, so by law only some veterinarians can sign the certificate.”

BVA President Justine Shotton has asked the Minister to provide practical assistance to “simplify and streamline” the process, although changing the requirements is beyond the control of experts or the UK government, as set by the EU.

Other things to know

If you are traveling directly to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway, your veterinarian must tapeworm your dog and record it in your AHC or pet passport.

Also (although this is not a new requirement), when returning to the UK, dogs should generally be treated for tapeworms 1-5 days prior to return.

No more than 5 pets may be brought into EU countries or Northern Ireland unless they are attending a competition, show or sporting event or have been trained.

It’s not clear how many owners have been rejected for certificates. all Veterinary industry experts say that veterinarians offering AHC “do it very narrowly that certain conditions (e.g., rabies vaccination requirements and specific time requirements) must be met, and if a customer is rejected, it may be because: .It does not meet these conditions.”

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