Good News for Pet Owners, Says Caroline Spelman

If you’re a pet owner in the EU, you just got lucky! That’s because Ministers in the UK are amending pet-movement regulations so that it will be easier, faster and cheaper to bring animals to the Continent starting on January 1, 2012. Up until now, anyone traveling with a pet to the UK has needed to have a blood test to make sure that they have been vaccinated for rabies. This causes a quarantine and results in costs for pet owners.

Changes for Traveling with Pets

Environmental Secretary Caroline Spelman of the UK said that the changes would end up saving about 100,000 pet owners £7million each year on their veterinary fees. Those who are traveling with pets in the EU will save about £100 in fees. The real savings, however, will be for those who travel outside of the EU and have had to quarantine their pets. They are expected to save up to £2,500 in quarantine fees.

Getting the Vaccines They Need

Pets are still going to be vaccinated against rabies. Pet owners coming with their animals from America, Australia and many other non-EU countries won’t need to have blood tests done for their animals. They will just need to wait 21 days before they travel. Those who are coming from unlisted non-EU countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa will be allowed to enter the UK, but only if they meet strict criteria including a blood test and a three month wait.

Mary Fretwell, who is the chairman of the Passports for Pets group, has worked hard to campaign for quarantine reform. She has said that the current rules are “highly inconvenient for pet owners and a considerable disincentive to travel.” Hopefully, she will now appreciate these changes.

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