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New pet travel rules

30 June 2011

It will become cheaper and easier to travel abroad and return to Jersey with dogs, cats and ferrets when new rules on pet travel are introduced next year. Current rules will remain in place until the end of 2011.

Jersey will adopt the European Union rules on pet travel on 1 January 2012. This will bring the rules into line with the most recent science while maintaining the Island’s high level of protection against animal diseases.

All pets will still need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies but pets from the EU and non-EU listed countries such as the USA and Australia will no longer need a blood test and will not have to wait six months before entering Jersey. They will only have to wait 21 days after vaccination before they travel with an approved carrier.

Pets from unlisted non-EU countries such as India, Brazil and South Africa, will only be allowed entry to Europe if they meet certain strict criteria to ensure they are protected against rabies. As well as microchipping and rabies vaccination, additional measures include a blood test carried out at least 30 days after vaccination, followed by a three-month waiting period in the country they are arriving from.

Quarantine

The new rules mean that, due to vastly improved vaccines and treatments, pets imported from certain unlisted non-EU countries will no longer have to spend six months in quarantine, a practice dating from the 1800s.

The changes will ensure the risk of rabies entering the UK or Jersey remains very low. It’s estimated that there would only be one case of rabies in a legally imported pet in the UK once every 211 years, with the possibility of a person getting rabies from a pet once in 21,000 years.
 
Environment  Assistant Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said “The EU’s pet movement scheme has been working very well since it began and it ensures a high level of protection from rabies and other animal diseases."

He continued, “These changes will make it easier and cheaper for pet owners to travel, particularly Islanders who have homes in France and visit regularly with their pets. In the meantime, I would urge pet owners to observe the current rules as they will continue to be enforced until the end of this year."

Tapeworm and ticks

The new rules also mean tapeworm controls for dogs may differ from those currently in place and we are awaiting information from the UK authorities to ensure that we continue to be protected from Echinococcus multilocularis which is not present in Jersey or the UK.

From 1 January 2012, tick treatment for pet animals entering Jersey will not be required but all pet owners travelling abroad with their animals should discuss disease prevention with their vet, including measures to control ticks, as part of good animal health practice.

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