Pet owners travelling to EU warned to prepare for `no-deal' Brexit
PET owners will need to contact vets four months before they plan to travel to the EU if there is a `no deal' Brexit.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) yesterday issued the warning to pet owners intending to travel to "any country in the European Union (EU) with their animals" after the UK leaves.
It said "in the event of a no-deal scenario" some additional steps "may be" require to be able to travel with their pet to the EU "as the UK will become an unlisted third country".
"Pet owners will be required to meet additional health requirements as set out by the EU.
"Therefore, in line with advice from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in London, Daera recommends that pet owners planning to travel after 29 March 2019, should seek advice from their vet at least four months in advance to ensure their pets meet the necessary EU health requirements for travel.
"EU rules state that pets must have an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody.
"The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before the intended date of travel.
"Pet owners will, therefore need to talk to their vet about health requirements in good time."
A spokesman said the advice "is about planning ahead to ensure their pet has the correct health protection documented and in place for all possible scenarios".
"DAERA has recently been in contact with Northern Ireland vets to highlight this issue. They are expecting pet owners to consult with them and plan ahead."