Brexit and Service Dogs

By: A.C.

As we enter the next few days of frenetic, bullish political rhetoric about Brexit, it would appear the bluster and scant regard for detail will affect those who need service dogs and have to travel between the UK and the EU, should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.

The BBC carry a story today  which shows what this “ no -deal” exit will have on service dogs– or pets- in Northern Ireland. An Irish Guide Dogs volunteer stays in Derry and has been given one of their Guide Dogs. .  He used to stay in Donegal.   For those who do not know the geography, this is like travelling e.g between Balmedie, Westhill or  Blackburn in Aberdeenshire to and from Aberdeen.  Except that   Brexit will re-impose the old travel regime of vaccinating pets /service dogs and then waiting for a four month period whilst Rabies blood tests after the vaccination have proven effective

The rules on whether one can travel between the EU and the UK the day after Brexit will depend on whether the UK is regarded as a listed country.  No –Deal means that the Uk will be regarded as a unlisted country with no travel arrangements for service dogs.  What applies to Northern Ireland will also apply to Dover, Rosyth or other ports to the continent.   The DEFRA website is clear about what happens to service dogs.

I say clear, but there are a multitude of ifs and buts.    So if you intend to visit the EU with your service dog after Brexit –whenever or if it happens – then take great care to get advice via your local vet or visit  Disability Rights UK website to stay abreast of any changes that affect the disabled or their service dogs  and to keep up with updates.

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