There has been much debate about how leaving the UK from the European Union will affect people, but surely most of us had not even considered that it will also have an impact on travelling with animals.
Until now, EU rules have allowed the free movement of dogs, cats and ferrets between member countries, including the UK, provided they travel with their owners and carry the appropriate animal passport.
From now on it is all a matter of uncertainty as the British will have to establish their own control with their particular requirements in order to enter their territory, while the EU will be able to impose greater control for non-EU countries as well.
Currently, “to travel from Spain to an EU country the pet must be identified with a microchip or tattoo (if this was done before July 3, 2011 and is still legible), be vaccinated against rabies with a valid vaccine at the time of travel and have a European passport for the movement of pets. The same as if you were travelling to Spain from an EU country. If you are going to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway, you must also treat your dog against Echinococcus multilocularis between 24 and 120 hours before arriving in the country,” according to information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment. E. multilocularis, also known as the “fox tapeworm”, produces a disease called hydatid cyst in many mammals. It causes small cysts that can spread to different organs of the body.
But now with the transit between member and non-member countries will have to take advantage of special regulations; for this, it is necessary to inquire at the consulate or embassy of the country of destination before making any trip.
Let us not forget that 40% of British households live with an animal and, although the disconnection with Europe will not leave them isolated on the island, it will make it more difficult for them to move with their pets than when they were members of the EU.
It should also be remembered that some 308,820 British people currently reside in Spain, a country which in 2016 received 17.8 million tourists from the United Kingdom, with whom pet traffic can be considerable.
The British authorities have not made any pronouncements on the requirements they will apply to pets wishing to travel to the United Kingdom, so we will have to be very vigilant in this regard.