NOTE Material in preparation.

As Britain moves towards a no-deal Brexit, the RSPCA warns talk of farm deregulation means welfare standards of the UK’s farm animals may be set to nosedive. Veterinary Practice

RSPCA warning

  • 80 percent of current animal welfare legislation comes from EU law (with over 40 animal welfare laws)
  • EU animal welfare laws cover four key areas – there are 17 laws relevant to farm animals, 11 laws for wildlife, eight laws covering animals used in research, and four laws about companion animals
  • Current EU law, known as the Lisbon Treaty (a binding agreement between EU member countries), recognises animals as sentient beings, this means they’re understood as having the capacity to feel pain and suffering
  • Depending on which trade framework is agreed post-Brexit, there’s a possibility that new trade agreements will be made with countries which have lower animal welfare standards. For example, the USA gives growth hormones to their cows, still uses conventional battery cages (in most states), don’t have species specific slaughter regulations and still uses sow stalls in most pig production
  • The UK farming industry currently receives over €3 billion in EU subsidies and the UK Government will now be exploring a new support system for farms.

You can find a more detailed summary of animal welfare laws in the UK before and after Brexit in Brexit – getting the best for animals (PDF 4.24MB).

Pet travel from the UK to the EU after Brexit

The following comes from Animal Couriers:

If your pet has a UK-issued pet passport, you’ll need to take action as described below.

To make sure your pet can travel from the UK to the EU after the Brexit transition period, contact your vet at least four months before your travel date to get the latest advice.

Assuming the UK leaves the EU with a deal, it will become what’s known under PETS as a third country with a Part 1 or Part 2 listing. You’ll need to obtain documents from an official vet that replace your pet’s UK-issued pet passport — see the next sections.

Part 1 listed country

If the UK becomes a Part 1 listed country, it will operate under the same PETS rules as EU member states but with a different type of pet passport — the UK pet passport. You’ll able to use it for repeat travel to the EU as long as you keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date.

Part 2 listed country

If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, you’ll need to have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel, as with PETS.

In addition, you’ll need to visit an official vet no more than 10 days before the date of travel to get an animal health certificate (AHC) confirming your pet has been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

Your pet will need a new AHC for every trip to an EU country. You’ll also need to keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date, and you may have to make sure that dogs have a tapeworm treatment before travel.

More information:

Unlisted country (in the event of no-deal Brexit)

In the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will probably be treated as an unlisted country under PETS, and a current UK-issued pet passport won’t be valid for travel to the EU.

You’ll need to allow at least four months between your pet’s rabies vaccination and the date of travel so that there’s time for:

  • Your pet to be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination,
  • A blood test to be taken and analyes
  • A three-month wait to travel after the date of the blood test (assuming a successful result)

More information:


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