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Pet Travel and Brexit

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Most of us would have regularly raised an eyebrow or two at the bureaucracy associated with the EU. There did seem to be an incessant stream of new rules and regulations regarding just about every aspect of our lives. Whilst the imposition of Europe wide regulations had its draw backs and could be an irritant, there were certainly benefits for pet owners.

The Freedom to Travel with Your Pet

The pet passport scheme has meant that UK citizens are able to take their pets on holiday with them when travelling to EU destinations. The scheme has also enabled pedigree dogs to visit the UK to take part in dog shows here. This has been a major boon for pet owners but what will now happen in the wake of Brexit?

Travel Restrictions Likely

Clearly the biggest issue in the Brexit negotiations will be the nature of the trade agreement with the EU but the rules regarding pet travel must also be considered. The UK will be in the position of laying down our own regulations regarding animals entering the UK. The EU will decide what freedoms our pets are afforded when travelling to the remaining member states. Pet owners are unlikely to welcome any new restrictions on travel but restrictions are highly likely to be imposed.

Tackling the Spread of Disease

The UK will probably choose to impose increased restrictions on animals entering this country. In spite of the pet passports and modern rabies vaccine protocols, there are still concerns about the spread of disease and parasites.

Earlier this year there was an outbreak of the imported tick-borne disease Babesiosis in Essex. This disease effects dogs and the outbreak was a worry for owners in the county. However, vets reported only 5 incidences of the disease per 1000 consultations. Babesiosis did not spread elsewhere and was witnessed in just a few animals arriving from overseas. In any case, native ticks are also an issue for our canine population. Almost three quarters of dog owners report that their pets are bitten by ticks at least once every year.


It is easy to assume that animals coming in from overseas bring all sorts of diseases with them but this isn’t usually the case. These animals can represent a threat but we already have plenty of those right here in the UK. We cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to monitoring our pets’ health whatever happens in the Brexit negotiations.

Travel Now

Brexit is sure to result in changes to the freedom of movement afforded to pets. The harder the line that the Government takes with animals travelling to the UK then the tougher things are likely to get for UK citizens who want to holiday abroad with their pets. The EU is unlikely to allow us travelling privileges if we are not prepared to reciprocate.

If you want to travel with your pet, then it might be a good idea to do it before the UK leaves the EU.


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