As uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues, at least veterinarians can give a sigh of relief. On 10 April, the EU Member States have agreed the UK’s listed status application after it met the animal health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country to export live animals and animal products.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomed the announcement after its early call ensure the UK achieved listed third country status. Securing listed status will mean that the UK will be able to export animal products and most live animals to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit from day one. Vets and businesses which import live animals and animal products will also continue to have access to the TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) system, a web-based veterinarian certification tool, until later in the year.
Veterinary certification will still be required for all exports and imports under third country listed status and, under a no-deal Brexit, the UK would see a significant increase in the volume of certification. BVA has previously raised concerns about the impact that this would have at a time when the workforce is already experiencing shortfalls in capacity.
It is testament to the incredibly hard work of government vets across the UK making sure that the UK meets the stringent health and biosecurity requirements to trade with EU countries
However, the announcement does not cover pet travel. Under a no-deal Brexit pet owners will need to meet the additional testing and certification requirements to travel with their cats, dogs and ferrets to the EU. BVA continues to advise owners to speak to their own veterinary surgeon as early as possible before travelling.
BVA President Simon Doherty said, “Amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the listed status application approval is a very welcome piece of news. BVA made an early call for the government to ensure the UK achieved listed third country status in order to avoid the nightmare scenario that no animals or animal products could be exported in a no-deal Brexit.
“It is testament to the incredibly hard work of government vets across the UK making sure that the UK meets the stringent health and biosecurity requirements to trade with EU countries.
“This announcement will bring some relief to vets and farmers who have been worried about the significant welfare and economic implications of not being able to move animals under a no-deal Brexit.”
With Brexit seemingly delayed until the end of October, everyone’s dog-friendly summer vacations seem to be safe – but the situation may yet change, so it’s best to keep up to date.