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What will Brexit mean for travelling with pets?

dog playing on the beach
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Britain is set to leave the EU today and many pet owners have questions about what this means for pet travel. Read on to find out what the Brexit entails for your pet.

By Natasha James , 31 Jan 2020

If you're worried about taking your four-legged friends abroad once the UK withdraws from the EU, then you needn't be, for now at least.

From February 1st, the UK enters a “transition period” where many existing systems will remain in place for a limited time.

A furry problem?

The transition period is currently due to end on 31st December 2020 which means that until then things such as pet travel remain largely unaffected.

At the end of this transition period though, if Britain faces a “no deal” status, things could change dramatically.

The current situation

Currently, pets, like their humans, enjoy free movement across Europe. The UK's 11 million pets are able to travel abroad under the EU pet travel scheme.

In the event of no deal Brexit however, everything could change. In this case, with no agreement in place, Britain would become an ‘unlisted third county’, according to the i newspaper, meaning pet owners would have to take additional steps and start preparing for their pets' travel at least four months before they intend to travel.

Long waits and extra fees

This would almost certainly lead to months-long waiting periods and additional expenses. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) have warned that travelling with pets will cost at least an extra £150 under a no deal Brexit.

For now, you don't have to do anything differently but if you're already planning a trip to Europe in 2021, you may need to prepare well in advance.

Find out more about travelling with your pet