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Patricia W

Dog owners travelling to the EU beware!

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Posted (edited)

We are lucky enough to be retired and can now spend 5/6 weeks at a time in Spain in May/June and a couple of week’s in the autumn.  We drive down through France and then camp on a beach in a nature reserve ( next to a Village where we know the people in the wine shop!) and it’s bliss! We’ve been able to take the dog, and that’s been great.   

For the last few weeks, we’ve been aware of messages via social media etc  from DEFRA telling us to take action NOW if we want to take the dog to the EU after 29th March next year.  So.... we decided to take her to the vet tonight to start the process.  Just in case. 

Well!  Some £115 poorer, we now have to wait 2 weeks to see if Nell has sufficient evidence of rabies antibodies in her blood for the vet to be able to issue us with a certificate which she thought ( wasn’t sure) would be valid for a year.  

Then supposing we get through this, 2 weeks before we leave, we have to take her back for a checkup when we will be issued with a further certificate!  Presumably, this paperwork will need to be checked at Eurotunnel where there is no pet check provision presently.   The only good news is that the checks on the way back remain the same.  

The worry now is that the blood test will be fine. Otherwise she will need revaccination and we probably won’t be able to go till much later in the year. 

Madness!  But I thought I’d alert others who might be in the same position.   I’ll keep you posted. 

Edited by Patricia W
Typing!

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Yes working in a vets we had to issue that letter to our clients too.   My understanding of it is as it was before pets passports that once you had your certificate to show rabies titre as acceptable and as long as you keep up the rabies shots you will be fine and a fit too travel cert before you go.   No need for further blood tests.

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As far as I understand it, noone knows for certain! DEFRA have issued guidance to Official Vets (who can issue passports) in case of a no deal Brexit, that we would become an unlisted 3rd country meaning we would need to get a rabies titre test 3 months before travel; and the test must be done at least 30 days after the vaccination.

I think the urgency is if you want to travel in March (ie 3 months time). I'm planning on driving Celine to the UK in June, her Rabies booster is due in a couple months time anyway, so I'll titre test her 30 days after that.
That's a good price and only just covers the lab cost!

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We have a pet passport to take our dog from France to Spain. The rabies vaccination isn't considered active until three weeks after administration, so if you happen to travel to Spain without it active the dog would be put into Quarantine until it was: blood tests within that period won't be considered. Here it costs €58 for a passport, but we know that the UK entry requirements are much stricter anyway, so that will be what you are paying for Patricia. We know of people here who have been caught without a valid passport and have had the cost of three weeks boarding plus the treatment and costs of collection.

You should have had this passport in place anyway; Brexit has nothing to do with it. So you've been lucky to get away with it so far.

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It’s reassuring that we’ve paid the going rate for the blood test, Lewis.  She had the original rabies shot about 18 months ago when we got her passport so hope the test shows the antibodies.  It’s just annoying that we’ve had to do it in addition to the original cost of the passport.  And have to collect more paperwork!  There will need to be more checks no doubt before we leave the U.K.  so expect delays at Eurotunnel! 

You’re right that guidance is sketchy.  The vet is pretty sure that we will need to bring her back two weeks before we leave to get a further certificate that she’s disease free.  But can’t confirm yet of course.   No doubt that will cost. 

I’m just pleased that getting her back in will remain the same! 

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Beantree, she’s had a passport since she was 4 months old ( she’s now 2).  We travel through France to Spain at least twice a year so we’re all seasoned travellers, and know the previous system well.  In fact pet control in Calais usually compliments us on the passport being correct. Our vet in the U.K. and the one we use in Spain have been well trained.   This test is in addition to the pet passport and the vets are struggling to keep up.   It’s all brand new and in case of a no deal Brexit.  But as the new checks can take up to 4 months, we can’t afford to risk not having it done if we are to be sure of travelling to Spain in May as usual with her. 

 

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We will indeed revert to being an unlisted country if there is a 'No Brexit Deal' on 29th March. All current Pet Passports will become invalid. It is wise to proceed now assuming a worst case scenario and to plan 4 months ahead of your date of intended travel. To make sure that you can travel with your pet.

  1. You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
  2. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  3. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (Your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
  4. You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  5. You must take your pet to a Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.

 

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Chucky Mama, thanks for that clear explanation!  So my fingers are now crossed that the original vaccination worked and is still working.  

Hopefully, the politicians will get their act together too so it will all be a fuss about nothing, but as it’s all chaos in Westminster and Brussels, I felt we couldn’t take the chance.  

We have a friend who lives part time in France.  They take their cat and are over here at the moment, but planning to return before 29th March to avoid the issue for at least a while if it happens.  Nightmare! 

Edited by Patricia W
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Just FYI: it is also my understanding that from 29th March any of us travelling to the EU will need to pay a £6 fee (so hardly breaks the bank) and fill out a form that will act as a 3 year travel visa. Which you will then, obviously, need to process every 3 years when it runs out. :)

I'm not sure what happens in the event of a no deal scenario. In a true no deal scenario, the Eurostar won't be allowed to run, and we lose access to the EU airspace agreement meaning that planes can't fly either. So it could be no one is going anywhere from that date, at least, not until an agreement can be reached. 😂

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Soooo glad I’m visiting London BEFORE March! Not taking any animals with me, but will be bringing my little cousin.

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13 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

Soooo glad I’m visiting London BEFORE March! Not taking any animals with me, but will be bringing my little cousin.

Is she chipped? lol

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14 minutes ago, AndyRoo said:

Is she chipped? lol

Hahahaha you could probably say so, as her phone seems to be glued to her body and she was already worrying about the lack of wifi

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Do let her know we have Wi-fi here. We just seem to be lacking common sense at the moment! 

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The French government have recently stated that visas will only issued valid for three months. If you wish to stay longer you will need to be declared tax resident and have either a French passport or a residency permit, which in my case is valid for 5 years. Last week they said the permit system is being changed (permis de sejour) to something else and have stopped issuing them. But they haven't said what the new system is, leaving some people living here stuck here. 

Yes, dogs in France must be microchipped by law now. I think this was to identify the owners in case of injury or damage claims?

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4 hours ago, Beantree said:

The French government have recently stated that visas will only issued valid for three months. If you wish to stay longer you will need to be declared tax resident and have either a French passport or a residency permit, which in my case is valid for 5 years.

So much for the fallacy that countries can't set their own terms surrounding free travel and immigration. lol Which was always untrue. There's even a site run by the EU that tells you which T&Cs each country has. Oh, what a mess.

I'm still hoping France will allow some migration from the UK as it's where the partner and I are looking to move once I've finished my degree. We tried looking in to getting Irish passports so we could keep our EU citizenship by proxy, but no joy. Which is so maddening as loads of our mates were able to do so. C'est la vie! 

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I have a British passport but am definitely getting an Irish one, they are also slightly cheaper. Very annoying re pet passports as my dogs have theirs. I wonder if we went to vet across border and got them Irish pet passports would they not need titre levels tested?

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I’ve just started the process of applying for an Irish passport.  There’s a long queue apparently so may take some time.  Getting the dogs an Irish pet passport may work if it’s a no deal Brexit.  The additional testing is being applied to Britain when taking dogs, cats ferrets into France and Spain.  Hopefully, it won’t be no deal and we will have wasted our £115! 

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The Irish passport backlog for British applicants was reported on French TV Patricia, but they didn't say how long it was? I have just renewed my British passport and was quite surprised to say the least. The £105 fee was a surprise as well, but it did include courier costs for the new passport and the old one sent separately. From posting my old passport to receiving the new one was 10 days, 8 of which were mail times both ways. All done on line, the most difficult part was the photograph; they won't accept ones from a booth and want to crop them down from a larger photo which must have a plain background and no shadow? Took several hours messing with lighting, step ladders and a tripod to get an acceptable one.

It's very difficult to get into the French system AndyRoo, made far more so by the UK's S1 system being discontinued, which left both of us 12 months without health cover. No cover for dependents abroad and no transitionary cover either, so when you leave you are on your own. The French healthcare system is complicated, with the Government paying 70% and top-up insurance 'sometimes' paying the rest. But without the basic Government cover, getting 100% private would cost a fortune! Easy to see why the migrants head for England.

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I have an old one so if I can find it will say renewal. As N Ireland’s residents we can hold either and at one stage I had both. I needed to send one for visa and needed to be out of the country at same time . Mine is due this month so I hope it doesn’t take forever. Although will be interesting travelling with foster children as 3 have British and 1 Irish and we all have Irish. Will customs let us all through in EU queue, I think not.

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My OH applied for his Irish passport 18 months ago, and there was some delay, but that was because of difficulties reading handwriting on various documents.  The Portugeuse government has just announced its position if there is a no deal, and its like France.  The system always was that you needed to be registered here, and then you could stay for 5 years and then apply for citizenship if you like.   It is a massive relief to hear the Govt is going to honour the registration process, they are under no obligation to do so. Without registration, and in the event of no-deal, you can stay for a maximum of 90 days.

On pet passports, I am assuming that an Irish vet would need to be involved to get an Irish pet passport, rather than the pet following its owner's nationality?

 

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7 hours ago, Beantree said:

The Irish passport backlog for British applicants was reported on French TV Patricia, but they didn't say how long it was? 

My friend started the process 6 months ago and only just got one through the other week.

I thought France was generally okay with legitimate migration. I think we have to be cautious to separate legitimate migration from the refugee crisis, as they are both very different things, with very different catalysts, and are (or should be) managed very differently by our governments. Unfortunately they have become synonymous - which is part of what has caused this whole big mess.

I'll be sad if I can't go to France, but we've also discussed Germany. TBH, within reason, I think there's 8 - 10 countries we'd consider if it meant getting our citizenship back. It's such a shame that the associate citizenship scheme was shot down in flames. I think that would have gone a long way to calming the situation... especially since it came to light that a certain rather prominent and vocal leave campaigner immediately got his kids EU passports so they wouldn't miss out.

Unfortunately I think this whole situation is going to get a lot worse (and for a significant amount of time) before it gets any better. It seems to me like the fuse has been lit, and now we're all waiting for what comes next. I can certainly see why the government is putting the army, airforce, and navy on standby. I'm actually quite surprised we haven't seen riots already... and thanks to these yellow vest idiots stirring up trouble outside of parliament, I am expecting that to go south quite quickly. :(

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6 hours ago, Daphne said:

 

On pet passports, I am assuming that an Irish vet would need to be involved to get an Irish pet passport, rather than the pet following its owner's nationality?

 

I would think so, Daphne.  So the dog would need to live in Ireland one assumes.  But who knows? It’s all probably described in the back stop deal!    Maybe Grandmashazzie can find out 

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