The president of the British Veterinary Association has warned pet owners that they will have to plan holidays months in advance in a no-deal Brexit scenario due to "extra layers" of testing and paperwork.
Appearing on the breakfast show with talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer, Simon Doherty explained that if a no-deal Brexit occurs, pet owners will face extra barriers before being able to take their pets abroad.
"At this stage there isn't any clarity about the pet passport itself, but what we've had in this latest round of technical notices is an indication of some of the rule changes that are likely to be put in place if we become an unlisted third country," he said.
"Under this unlisted third country status, there's quite a complicated set up in regards to blood testing. So, they would need to be vaccinated, they would need to be blood tested at least 30 days afer the vaccination, but no fewer than three months before travel. They would then have to have an animal health certificate issued, which is only going to be valid 10 days from the date of issue before the animal enters an EU member state.
Cats and ferrets would also need to be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination in a no-deal scenario, alongside dogs, with which microchipping is already compulsory.
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"You can see that there's an extra layer of testing, there's an extra layer of paperwork and some of these timelines aer quite tight for pet owners to get their head round, and in terms of veterinary practice capacity to be able to keep up with this thing," Mr Doherty added.
Mr Doherty also raised concerns about a shortage of vets in the profession, and is calling for "a return of vets to the shortage occupation list".
'We rely heavily on European vets'
"We rely heavily on a lot of European vets coming in from other EU countries to work in the UK," he said.
"We currently have a shortage of vets within the profession at the minute. So all of this, not only the aspects around pets but the aspects of certification of meat and dairy products, certification around live animals, including horses or pets as well as farm animals. So there's a real capacity isssue there are the minute.
"One of the things we've called for is a return of vets to the shortage occupation list, and at the minute we're continuing to call for that. It's a really complex area. We're certainly committed to maintaining that dialogue and hopefully we can see a sensible way forward for pet owners and their animals."