The warning from the States comes as Guernsey and the UK will become a third country in relation to the European Union at the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021. The UK government has applied to the European Commission for themselves, and on Guernsey’s behalf, to be listed in the EU pet travel scheme.
The European Commission will designate the UK and Guernsey one of three categories of third country status in relation to the pet travel scheme: unlisted; part 1 listed or part 2 listed.
Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category Guernsey becomes on 1 January 2021.
In an update, the States is currently advising islanders intending to travel with their pets to prepare for the ‘worst possible outcome with regard to pet travel’ where Guernsey becomes an unlisted third country.
In this scenario pets would need to receive a rabies vaccination and later have a blood sample taken to check that the vaccine has provided their pet with protection against rabies.
Within 10 days of travel pets must be checked by a vet who will issue an animal health certificate which is required for each trip. This whole process can take four months however, so it is important that those who are planning trips, and who have not already discussed this with their vet, do so as soon as possible.
In the event Guernsey and the UK receive Part 1 or Part 2 listed status, some of these onerous requirements will no longer apply. Islanders are encouraged to review content at www.gov.gg/Brexit for the latest guidance and advice on pet travel and a range of Brexit issues including travelling with horses and endangered species.
The States Vet has been contacting local vets and has discussed pet travel with Condor Ferries to make them aware of possible changes to the requirements for travel to Europe.
For the last two years islanders intending to travel with cats, dogs or ferrets have been encouraged to speak with their vet about ensuring their pets are prepared for the worst possible outcome with regard to pet travel.
States vet David Chamberlain said: ‘We know many people like to take their pets with them to France. We want to avoid a situation where someone finds they aren’t able to take their pet with them at the last minute.
‘Owners are strongly advised to contact their vets as early as possible when planning a trip to Europe to avoid any unanticipated problems and upset.’