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Stress at the border as UK pet passport is rejected on leaving France

The Connexion checked out the rules on use of UK pet passports issued before 2021 after a reader reported difficulties

EU-UK direction usually acceptable with pre-2021 UK pet passport, provided no errors, according to Eurotunnel spokesman Pic: Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock

A reader has described a stressful experience when she was unable to board the Eurotunnel train with a British EU pet passport for her cat. 

Read more: Reader’s tips on pet passport after cat issues boarding UK-France ferry

Mary Cooper, 64, said after a long drive from Haute-Savoie, she and her husband, 71, were turned back at 3:00 and told they needed a French pet passport. 

They slept in their car outside a French vet’s to “beg for help”. 

She said Eurotunnel staff had said it was that or the cat would be quarantined. “Seventy-five euros later, we could return for the train and they let us proceed.” 

Mrs Cooper, who has moved back to the UK, had brought the pet over in 2010 on a UK-issued passport which her French vet had continued to update, but she was told at the border it was not acceptable post-Brexit. 

She said she was annoyed to see later that a form Eurotunnel had given them to show the vet said at the bottom that officials had discretion to let them through on a one-off basis. 

Cat ‘becoming distressed 

This had not been offered, despite her asking for flexibility for their 16-year-old cat, which was “becoming distressed”. 

A Eurotunnel spokesman said usually it is acceptable – in the EU to UK direction only – to use pre-2021 UK pet passports, but they must not include any errors. 

It was possible there has been a change in format, or something incorrectly filled in since 2010, he said, though he could not comment on the individual case. 

Related links

Why was my dog’s pet passport not accepted on UK to France ferry

What are the rules for flying with a pet

Pet passports: Second-home owners in France left upset by stalemate

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