An increasing number of pets being brought into Jersey are failing the Island’s entry rules, causing hardship to the animals and extra expense to owners and importers.
The States Veterinary Officer is strongly recommending that anyone considering travelling with their pet, or re-homing or buying a pet from Europe or beyond, checks the rules and talks it through with their vet
The UK and the Channel Islands have been free of rabies for many years. The disease still causes more than 55,000 human deaths around the world each year, mainly in children. Changes in the incidence of rabies in Europe and improved vaccination have enabled pet owners to travel with their animals, subject to meeting the legal requirements. But States Veterinary Officer Linda Lowseck is warning that to keep rabies out of the Island, it is very important to ensure imported dogs and cats meet strict conditions.
Over the last 10 years the number of pets travelling to Jersey under the Island’s Pet Travel Scheme has increased annually. 2,058 dogs, cats and ferrets landed in Jersey under the scheme in 2012. To the end of August 2013, 1,597 pets have landed.
Most travelling pet owners know about and meet the requirements, but this year nearly 6% of pets failed the entry requirements, compared to 3% in 2012.
Pets which do not meet the entry requirements are refused travel, or if they are detected in the Island, are exported or placed in quarantine at the owner’s expense until they meet the requirements.
To bring a dog, cat or ferret to Jersey from Europe but not from the UK, it must be accompanied by a valid EU pet passport. There is no requirement for a passport coming from UK.
If people own and are bringing more than five pets with them to Jersey from Europe, or if they are import animals for sale or re-homing, they need to provide additional documentation. More information is available from the Department of the Environment.
Linda Lowseck explained: “The Pet Travel Scheme was set up to allow owners to travel accompanied by their pets. It is not for importing animals which are for sale or re-homing. Pet owners are responsible for importing their pets and should ensure that their pets have a valid pet passport with all the necessary information accurately completed.”
“If you are going to import animals for sale or re-homing you must comply with the additional requirements because, unlike a pet you’ve owned for some time, their background and history may not be reliably known.”
“Anyone thinking of travelling with their pet, re-homing or buying a pet from Europe or beyond, is strongly recommended to give this serious thought and discuss it with their own vet. This is because there are diseases not seen in Jersey which can not only infect the pet but can infect humans.”