Brexit news: How will Brexit impact flights with pets and pet passports? Are they banned?

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What is the Brexit situation currently? The UK will leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Prime Minster Theresa May was in Brussels last week with European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in an attempt to thrash out a Brexit divorce deal. With this not finalised it means a no deal Brexit – where the UK would leave the EU without a specific agreement in place of how to proceed – is still a possibility. Meanwhile, fears of a no deal rocketed after Mrs May announced that the expected “meaningful vote” for Parliament to approve her Withdrawal Agreement is to be held on March 12, not this week.

What impact could Brexit have on pet passports?

It is believed a no deal Brexit would make obtaining a pet passport much more difficult.

The UK Government website states: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, after 29 March 2019 the rules for travelling to EU countries with your pet will change.

“You should start the process at least 4 months before you travel.”

While the pet passport scheme does include non-EU countries, in a post Brexit environment, the UK would need to be added onto this list.

With agreements needed to do this, it could potentially be time-consuming and problematic.

What is the existing pet passport situation?

Pet owners can currently take their animal to and from the European Union so long as they have a pet passport and are microchipped.

They can also transport them to and from listed countries.

Yet, if a pet’s rabies vaccination is seen to have expired, this could prevent the latter.

Pet passports for cats, dogs and ferrets list the different treatments a pet has had.

An owner must always travel with the original document, and not a photocopy.

Are there any animals who require special passports?

A quirk in the regulations mean horses in particular need an individual document – even if they are not travelling.

The animals require the document, with or without travel plans, and the content also states what should happen when they die.

The horse passport also relates to ponies and donkeys, as well as zoo species such as zebras.

According to the UK Government, the small booklet identifies the animal by its height and species.

It then states whether the pet or animal can be used for human food when it dies.

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