Thank you for contacting me about travel to the EU for assistance dog owners from 1 January 2021.
As the UK leaves the Brexit transition period, the rules on travelling abroad with an assistance dog will change depending on what agreement is reached between the UK and the EU. Assistance dog owners risk facing a burdensome process requiring them to organise many veterinary checks and tests and to wait up to four months before they are able to travel.
I am concerned about the significant impact this will have on the ability of assistance dog owners to travel abroad for work, family or leisure reasons. It is unacceptable that specific arrangements have not been put in place to facilitate travel to the EU for assistance dog owners.
I urge the UK Government to ensure that assistance dog owners are not disadvantaged under future travel arrangements and to prioritise the needs of assistance dog owners.
The UK Government says it has submitted an application to the EU Commission to become a ‘Part I’ listed third country for pet travel from the UK into the EU. If accepted, it states that this would require similar documentation and health requirements to those currently required. The Commission is considering the application.
The UK Government says it will not change requirements for pet travel into Great Britain in the short term and it will consider assistance dog users in any future review of pet travel rules. It will continue to work with the assistance dog community and organisations to share the latest advice and guidance in accessible formats with their members on future changes.
Thank you once again for contacting me and sharing your views about this important issue. I will continue to follow developments closely and intend to raise this in Parliament if I get the opportunity.