Defra recommending changes to the pet travel scheme
DEFRA is now taking action and is making several changes to the pet travel scheme after there has been a huge increase in puppies and dogs entering the UK.
The change has been brought in as fears have grown about dogs being brought into the UK having diseases and spreading them here. There will now be a minimum age of 12 weeks for puppies to be vaccinated against rabies and their passports will now feature more information including vets details.
The changes will occur on December 29 after fears have been growing for the welfare of animals being brought over from other countries.
The President of the British Veterinary Association is pleased with the new pet travel scheme coming into place later this year after he stated the issues about dogs coming over to the UK, their welfare and the UKs dogs welfare is happening on a very large scale and that it is ‘very real, very significant and happening dog. The only way to tackle it is to stop the trade.’
This is a positive move for everyone as it will help protect all dogs from the UK or abroad.
The new passport will have stricter checks and require more information meaning it would be a lot more difficult to forge and tamper with. It also will include the vets details who gave the dog the rabies jab and include the details of when the puppy or dog is safe to travel. Any treatments the dog has had and any information about the dog’s microchip will be included.
An animal health inspector at Heathrow Airport said the number of animals travelling under the pet travel scheme had risen from 8,000 in 2011 to 150,000 in 2012 due to the relaxation in the scheme’s rules. This huge increase shows that there should be stricter rules for the welfare of the animals.
Under the new regulations, it will be possible to see the breeder information, vet information and dog information so now people can purchase dogs and puppies knowing everything they need to know about them.
Anyone looking to buy a puppy should be aware of all the facts before they choose a dog and they will be able to access this easily with the new scheme.
At the congress, several people were welcoming the new scheme, explaining the positives of this coming in later this year.
Mr Hargreaves states “Unlike England, on the Continent it is not possible to track the animal back to where certification took place, so it will be a significant deterrent if vets are made aware that if they are cavalier with the age of the animal or other details they may be held accountable. There is a tranche of people abusing the system and using it to bring in animals for commercial sale. We are confident that is happening and they want animals to be as young as possible because that makes them more saleable. I have seen a prototype of the new passport and the fact that it is laminated once it is signed makes it hard to re-write or alter.”
For anyone looking to purchase a puppy, the advice being given is to wait until this new scheme is in place so you know you are buying from a reputable breeder.