Q: Now that it seems we are heading for Brexit, what do you think will happen to my pet passport?
Neil says: Well, your guess is as good as mine. Current EU legislation requires that dogs travelling between member states must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and possess a pet passport. The UK has a derogation, which allows us to insist that animals are treated for tapeworms between one and five days prior to entry. This is because, currently at least, we are free from the parasite Echinococcus granulosus, which has the potential to cause human disease.
Unfortunately, in 2012 we lost the right to compulsory tick treatment before dogs returned to our shores. The inevitable consequence has been the appearance of Rhipicephalus ticks in Britain. These ornate wee beasties carry exotic diseases, such as Babesiosis, and are very difficult to eradicate. It does seem, therefore, that the horse has already bolted, but it is likely, what with the US and Canada already on board with pet passports, that these will be retained.
Hopefully, we will act decisively to apply stringent rules, shut the door on the import of further nasty bugs and maintain the UK’s unique health status. Regrettably, I doubt it will be a priority for politicians. But it certainly should be…