The UK’s largest organisation dedicated to dog health and welfare, The Kennel Club, has today (27 February 2023) welcomed the announcement of the Windsor Framework, which formally removes the pet travel border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland that was erected upon the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Northern Ireland Protocol introduced a legal requirement for owners moving their dogs from Great Britain to Northern Ireland to comply with EU pet travel rules. This included a mandatory rabies vaccination in order to move a dog from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, alongside expensive travel paperwork, which was required for every journey from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. While the implementation of enforcement checks was suspended indefinitely, the Windsor Framework will formally remove the legal requirements introduced by the Northern Ireland protocol regarding the transportation of dogs from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Following the announcement of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the implications it had on pet travel within the UK, The Kennel Club extensively lobbied the UK Government and Northern Irish Ministers to call for the removal of the internal UK pet travel border. The Kennel Club welcomed the indefinite suspension of pet travel check at the Northern Ireland border, however, the spectre of future implementation of checks remained.
Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs, said: “We are delighted with the announcement of the Windsor Framework and the proposed removal of the pet travel border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that was introduced by the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ever since the significant implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol on pet travel became clear we have been lobbying the UK and Northern Irish Government to negotiate the removal of the pet travel border in the Irish Sea. The removal of these rules will ensure that it will be no more difficult for someone to travel from Edinburgh to Belfast with their dog, than it would be to travel from Manchester to the Isle of Wight.