THERE have been calls for the impending situation regarding ‘pet passports’ to be clarified as soon as possible, with conflicting reports on whether there will be any change to bringing animals across the border come the autumn.
As recently reported in the Herald, requirements for pets to have a passport, rabies vaccine, and microchip when travelling from the North to Great Britain look set to be introduced in October. On top of that, pets travelling back from Britain to the North will require a tapeworm treatment five days before returning.
The Herald had understood the same requirements would not be required when travelling across the local border, with the North remaining closely aligned to EU rules and regulations as part of the Brexit Protocol agreement. Since 2014 pet passports had already been required when travelling within EU countries, but this rule was not enforced when travelling in the two jurisdictions in Ireland.
However, it has now emerged there may be some requirements for Fermanagh’s furry friends when venturing down for a run on the beach when the Brexit grace period on pet travel rules expires in October.
Last week, Erne Veterinary Travel urged local pet owners to ensure their pets have a valid passport, a rabies vaccine, and a microchip come the autumn, including to the South. The practice stated this remained the guidance it has been given, and had not changed, and travel was only allowed three weeks after a rabies vaccine.
Dog Lovers NI have also express concern over the current confusion.
“The situation regarding travel with dogs between NI, GB and ROI is deteriorating rapidly and has reached crisis point,” said a spokesman, who went on to explain that some pet owners had even cancelled travel plans as a result.
“Vets are reporting that demand for pet passports is now exceeding supply,” they said, adding they were “getting conflicting messages from travel carriers and government agencies in ROI and UK.”
“No one seems to know what the rules are and how they will be applied,” said the spokesman. “Urgent action is required now to fix this.”
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