Brexit & Pet Travel: BSAVA Survey of Companion Animal Official Veterinarians (OVs)

18 October 2018

BSAVA members will be aware that with Brexit on the horizon for the first quarter of 2019 the rules to pet travel for owners and their pets travelling to and from the UK are potentially subject to change. As yet it is unknown what the changes might be as they will be dependent on negotiations and an agreement being reached by the UK government with the EU.

In planning for any potential changes, Defra issued a Technical Note (TN) at the end of September outlining the different scenarios that might occur including that of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. The government does not want or expect a ‘no deal’ scenario and is committed to achieving a deal with the EU. However, as part of its responsibilities, it is preparing for all scenarios including ‘no deal’. The TN and the various scenarios can be accessed via the Defra website.

As outlined in the TN, Defra anticipate that if the UK becomes a Part 1 listed country there will be limited changes and if it becomes a Part 2 listed country, there will be some new requirements. If the UK is deemed an unlisted third country, the impact of any changes will be greater and pet owners intending to travel with their pet from the UK to EU countries would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an OV at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. This means pet owners intending to travel to the EU on 30th March 2019 would need to discuss requirements with their vet before the end of November 2018.

Given the potential uncertainties, Defra has approached BSAVA with an offer to assist UK companion animal OVs and their clients in preparing for the uncertainties ahead. BSAVA has been invited to provide any questions that our OV members might have regarding pet travel to Defra/APHA who will aim to provide answers. Defra is particularly interested in any questions of concern that BSAVA members who are OVs might have in facilitating pet owners travelling abroad from the UK.

As a reminder of the current rules, these can be also accessed via the Defra website.

Based on the TN, we are inviting companion animal OVs to participate in the BSAVA member survey and to comment on the potential scenarios outlined by Defra in the TN. Given the tight timescale within which we need to respond to Defra so as to allow time for consideration and a response to any questions the membership might have, OV members are asked to submit their responses by 31st October 2018.

BSAVA members who are companion animal Official Veterinarians (OVs) are invited to participate in a survey which will be sent by email to all members of the BSAVA. The survey is comprised of ten questions and should take about ten minutes to complete.