VET’S VIEW: Be aware of changes to ‘pet passports’

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MANY pet owners have taken advantage of the EU Pet Travel Scheme (‘pet passport’) to travel with their pets, so it’s useful to know about changes that are being made to the scheme from December 29.

If you already have a pet passport, don’t worry! Your passport remains valid for the life of your pet (or until it is filled up), so you can continue to travel as before.

But checks are now being introduced across the EU and you may be asked to produce your pet passport when entering another country.

So, please do make sure you have your pet’s passport to hand at all times, just as you would for yourself with your own passport.

New passports are being introduced to reduce the risk of tampering and improve traceability in the event of

a query.

If you are thinking of travelling with your pet, the procedure for getting one remains as before: you must have your pet microchipped first and then, when it is at

least 12 weeks old, vaccinated against rabies.

At this point, your vet will issue the passport, which will be valid from 21 days after the date of vaccination.

The only other requirement is for dogs to receive a treatment against tapeworm within 24 to 120 hours of returning to the UK.

It is important to bear in mind that if you take your pet abroad, you may expose it to diseases not normally encountered in the UK.

This is particularly true in southern Europe, where a number of potentially serious illnesses are spread by ticks, mosquitos and sandflies.

So, do make sure you ask your vet about what parasite treatment you should be using, and remember that you may need to start it some weeks before you are due to travel.

For further information, you can visit the Government website at www.gov.uk/pet-travel-information-for-pet-owners