France: UK's travel restrictions slammed by residents

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Holidaymakers are also buying EU Pet Passports while abroad in a bid to pay only a fraction of the cost before they become invalid from January 1. Before Brexit, pet owners only had to pay just £60 for a pet passport to take their animal companion abroad, which would be valid for three years.

Pet passports issued in France are considerably cheaper than the UK’s £100 one-trip pet travel certificates, plus any other treatments needed before travelling.

In comparison, an EU pet passport issued in France will cost between €15 to €20, and can be used for up to 28 trips.

France’s Agriculture Ministry previously confirmed that it is acceptable for British second-home owners to obtain a French pet passport, as long as an EU vet administers the pet’s rabies jabs.

Since leaving the European Union, UK pet-owners must visit a vet to obtain a valid animal health certificate which covers a single trip valid for four months.

The sudden demand among Brits wanting to grab hold of EU passports comes in the wake of ex-marine and dog charity campaigner, Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing returning with 173 animals from Afghanistan.

Founder of Nowzad, a rescue centre for abandoned animals in Kabul, Pen landed at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning alongside 94 dogs and 79 cats rescued.

Currently, all the creatures saved are in quarantine kennels, with their future in the UK yet to be determined, TeamDogs reports.

However, dog owners who have quickly noticed the loophole to get an EU vet to issue an EU pet passport when abroad.

Only a handful of countries will accept a Great Britain pet health certificate as proof of entry, they include Canary Islands, Norway, Andorra and all EU Countries.

However, other countries such as Australia, UAE, Japan and USA will only accept a Great Britain pet health certificate as proof of entry.

It also confirmed that a animal health certificate must be issued 10 days before travelling and owners must show that the EU passport was accepted for entry back into the UK.

Presenter Keven Mosley, explained how the show had been inundated with case studies of people doing just that.

He said: “You don’t need to get one (an Animal Health Certificate) every time, just the first time, and then get an EU vet to issue you with an EU pet passport”.

He quoted listener Bridget Day who visited Ireland and got a local Irish vet to issue her with a pet passport.

He also said one listener, Jane Allen, had gone an extra step and made her dog a French citizen for just 25 euros.

However, British second-home owners are only allowed to stay in France for 90 days out of 180, without having a longer-term visa.

Sir Clive Loader, police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire, said he’d taken his dog Gus, to his holiday home in France, and was told about the clever hack by a friend.

He said: “I was bemoaning the cost of the animal health certificate when a friend said, when you get out there you’ll be able to get a EU passport for him. I went to the vet and asked if I could do it there and he said, yep.

“It took 15 minutes, twenty euros, signed up, passport in hand and left”.

Speaking to Radio 4’s consumer show, You And Yours, Sheila Mosedale, who has a 14-year-old Jack Russell cross called Pippa and a holiday home in France, explained: “We organised through our vet an animal health certificate which replaced the passport which cost £200 – £160 for the certificate and £40 for the consultation fee.

“We were a little taken aback but felt we just had to swallow it. We understood that was going to be every time we travelled.

“We are frequent travellers. I phoned my vet to organise another because I knew the one we had was no longer valid. I was told the cost had gone up from £160 to £250.”

A spokesperson added: “It is vitally important that all pet owners know the new rules and there is information on gov.uk.”

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