18 January 2018
A number of family pets were quarantined over the Christmas period because their owners didn’t follow the pet travel rules.
Pet owners must ensure their pet has a valid rabies vaccination to travel both ways between Jersey and mainland Europe. If not previously vaccinated or the vaccination has lapsed, the animal must be vaccinated at least 21 days before travel. After that, regular booster vaccinations are needed.
Four dogs returning to Jersey were put into quarantine because owners took them out of the Island without a valid rabies vaccination. A cat taken to France before Christmas wasn’t allowed to travel back to Jersey because the owner failed to ensure it had a valid rabies vaccination before leaving the Island.
The States Veterinary Assistant Ashley Pinel said ‘In common with the UK and elsewhere in Europe we have these rules in place to protect the island from serious, life-threatening diseases like rabies.
‘Pet owners need to plan ahead, and must check if their pet rabies vaccination is up to date at least three weeks before travel and visit their vet if it has expired or is close to expiry. Never take a pet out of the Island without checking what is needed.’
He added, ‘The consequences are costly – both financially and emotionally. Quarantine facilities in Jersey are expensive. A dog is separated from its family and held in a kennel, with no outdoor walks for as long as three weeks; it can be upsetting for the pet and its owner.’
In 2017, 93 pets failed the checks for travel to the Island and some pets did not have a valid pet passport when leaving Jersey. The most common reason is dogs not having a valid tapeworm (echinococcus) treatment needed to return to Jersey.
Dogs must have a tapeworm treatment at least 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (five days) prior to arrival in Jersey. The second most common reason is not having a valid rabies vaccination, or these details not being correctly recorded in the pet passport by the vet.