Pet owners urged to act now on passports

Pet owners urged to act now on passports

Pet owners hoping to take their furry friends to the EU have been urged to book a vet appointment well in advance to ensure sufficient time to complete “more cumbersome” paperwork.

Under post-Brexit rules, pet owners must obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from a vet trained to issue them no more than 10 days before travel from Great Britain to the European Union.

Unlike the older and simpler pet passports, AHCs are 9-12 pages long, which translates into a much more complex, time consuming and costly paperwork process. A pet travel consult at the vets is now taking around 45 minutes to an hour and even longer where there are multiple animals.

BVA Senior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos said: “The veterinary profession is very concerned about the pent-up demand for overseas travel with pets at a time when the workforce is stretched and there are capacity shortfalls in small animal practice.

‘Little we can do’

“The new post-Brexit travel certificates and requirements are a significant change from the older pet passport system and so they will take longer to complete and cost more. BVA has lobbied the government to simplify the paperwork, but the rules are set by the EU so there’s very little we can do to make the process less cumbersome.

“Vet practices are already under a huge workload pressure and routine appointments are booked up well in advance. Unfortunately, this means that some practices have taken the difficult decision to stop offering pet travel certification appointments in order to prioritise animal health and welfare cases.

“With lockdown restrictions easing and more people planning trips abroad in the months to come, it’s crucial that the system can operate as smoothly and stress-free as possible both for the veterinary profession and pet owners. That is why we are advising that you contact your vet as early as you can ahead of travel to the EU to make sure there’s time to complete the necessary health checks and paperwork.”

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