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petnews December 9th, 2002 02:28 PM

No more six month quarantine period for North American pets.
 
[B]Britain Loosens it's Collar

No more six month quarantine period for North American pets.
[/B]

News Release
Date: 20 November 2002

PETS TRAVEL SCHEME EXTENDED TO USA AND CANADA

The successful PETS Travel Scheme is to be extended to dogs and cats from the United States and Canada, Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley announced today.

From 11 December, people coming to this country from the USA and Canada will be able to bring their vaccinated pets without having to put them into six months quarantine. However, until an approved route from North America is available and official certification agreed, animals will have to go into short stay quarantine, usually only for two to three days, whilst the microchip and paperwork are checked.

Announcing the extension to North America, Elliot Morley said:

"I am proud to be associated with the Pet Travel Scheme. Since we introduced the Scheme in February 2000 over 75,000 dogs and cats from Europe and rabies-free islands have used the Scheme to enter the UK without having to go into six months quarantine.

"When we introduced the Scheme we recognised that there was significant demand from people in the USA and Canada, and indeed UK travellers, for those two countries to be included in the Scheme. We were cautious about doing so, but did undertake to consider again whether or not to include these countries in the Scheme. We have now done this.

"We have carried out several scientific assessments of the risk of importing rabies if the Pet Travel Scheme was extended to USA and Canada. Both these assessments concluded that the risk of importing rabies into the UK by extending the Pet Travel Scheme to the USA and Canada was low.

"I know that some people feel that we have been too cautious in our approach to including the USA and Canada in our Pet Travel Scheme. But we were not prepared to take such a significant step until we were sure, on a sound scientific basis, that there would be no significant increase in the risks of importing rabies if the Scheme was extended to those countries.

"We now have this assurance and I am therefore very pleased to announce that the Government has decided to extend the Pet Travel Scheme to USA and Canada.

"Because of the many close links between our countries many people in the USA and Canada have the opportunity to come and live and work in the UK. But some refuse because they cannot bear to be separated from their cats or dogs for the six months they must stay in quarantine.

"I am delighted to say that the legislation giving effect to this change has been laid before Parliament today and will come into force on Wednesday 11 December. From that date, dogs and cats from the USA and Canada which meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme will be able to enter the UK without going into quarantine for six months.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to stress that all the conditions applying to the Pet Travel Scheme must be complied with if an animal is to avoid six months quarantine. We have prepared explanatory leaflets for pet owners and US and Canadian vets. These are available from my Department and are on our Website."

Discussions with airlines for approval of routes into England and with the authorities in the USA and Canada about appropriate certification to accompany such animals continue. Until these are in place, qualifying animals will have to go into quarantine for a few days until it is confirmed that they do meet fully the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme. If they do then they will be released from quarantine as quickly as possible.

The UK has been free from rabies for many years and wishes to remain so. The Pet Travel Scheme rules are strictly applied; it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their animal meets all the conditions of the Scheme and that the owner has all the documentation to prove this. Travellers from the USA and Canada must bring their documentation with them.

In the UK and Europe most microchips and scanners comply with ISO Standards. The USA and Canada have different microchips. Owners of animals identified with non-ISO microchips may experience some difficulties in demonstrating that their animal has been microchipped. Such owners are advised to provide their own scanner.

What is PETS?
On February 28th, 2000, the United Kingdom introduced a Pet Travel Scheme, allowing pets visiting and returning to the UK to forgo the six month standard quarantine. Limited to dogs and cats only, and certain countries that proved to be free of rabies at first, the UK's Pet Travel Scheme has expanded to encompass other countries over the years, provided the animals meet it standards.

The PETS Scheme has very strict rules for entering pets, that must be followed exactly, in the order given. If your pet fails these or if you are not prepared, your pet will need to undergo the standard six month quarantine before entering the UK.

A complete list of procedures is located [URL=http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/Procedures/owners.shtml]http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/Procedures/owners.shtml[/URL]

Your pet must be microchipped.
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies.
Your pet must have a blood test to determine that he is free of rabies and well protected against it.
A government authorized veterinarian must issue you a PETS certificate.
Between 24 and 48 hours prior to boarding for t he journey, your pet must be treated for ticks and tapeworms.
A declaration stating that you have not brought your pet outside of any PETS approved countries must be signed.
An approved route must be taken.

Even with it's strict guidelines, the PETS scheme has opened up an entire country of vacation and travel possibilities for the pet owner.

Ministerial statements on the Pet Travel Scheme
From: [URL=http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/details/announce-pr.shtml]http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/details/announce-pr.shtml[/URL]


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