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Travelling pet owners urged to prepare for no-deal Brexit

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PET owners are being warned that if there is a no-deal Brexit they will need to make preparations four months in advance if they wish to take their dog, cat or ferret to the European Union.

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In the event that the UK is unable to reach a deal with the EU, such animals must be vaccinated for rabies and have a blood test and a ‘vet check’ over the course of around 120 days.

There will not be any new special requirements for owners of dogs, cats or ferrets bringing in their animals to the Island from the EU.

Currently, anyone travelling to the EU must have their pet vaccinated for rabies, and dogs must be treated for tapeworm. After that, owners must wait 21 days before travelling.

Explaining the new potential measures, Theo Knight-Jones, the States vet, said that it could already be too late for some pet owners to get ready before any changes after Brexit.

‘You need to have your rabies vaccination and then wait at least 30 days, then there is a blood-test and then, providing that blood test is fine, and shows that the animal has responded to the vaccine, you have to wait a further three months after the blood sample was taken until you can enter the EU,’ he said.

‘Also, within ten days of going to the EU, you have to get a vet check and certification and you need to have that.

‘If you then keep your vaccinations up to date you do not have to do more blood tests but every time you take your animal to the EU, you will have to have that vet check done within ten days.’ Dr Knight-Jones urged anyone who planned to go away with their pets to begin making preparations.

‘You need to get cracking and contact your vet to make sure that your dogs, cats or ferrets are able to go.

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‘For some of those who have done nothing, it could already be too late,’ he said.

And on Wednesday, it was announced that horses might be allowed to travel directly into St Malo from Jersey.

Anyone wishing to take a horse, animal products, or animals used on a commercial basis into Europe, must travel via the UK to another French port with a Border Inspection Post. Those are manned by vets who ensure that certain animals and animal products imported from ‘third countries’ comply with EU veterinary regulations.

However, it is not yet been confirmed if the St Malo BIP will be authorised to deal with horses.

Dr Knight-Jones added: ‘For horses, there will be additional inspection requirements such as a health certification, and they will need to go to a border inspection post.

‘Pet cats, dogs and ferrets only have to go through a “travellers’ point of entry”, not a BIP, of which there are many more, including St Malo.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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