Poots delays Brexit checks on pet travel

Poots delays Brexit checks on pet travel

Requirement for vaccinations not needed, insists Poots

There will be no Brexit checks on pets travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland until at least October, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has said.

They had been due to begin in July, but that has now been unilaterally extended. October.

Under the new travel rules, animals crossing the Irish Sea would have needed a microchip, a rabies vaccine, an EU pet passport or Animal Health Certificate issued by a vet, and a tapeworm treatment for dogs.

All changes were meant to take effect from January 2021 but had been deferred until July to let pet owners prepare.

Edwin Poots said his department is exploring other options

Newly elected DUP leader Mr Poots said: “Pet owners have had little time to prepare to meet the new conditions for pet travel, which have come as a result of the agreement reached between the UK and EU.

‘Not necessary’

“This delay will also allow time for my department to further scope the potential requirements for the introduction of checks and to educate the public further.”

Vets and pet owners had hit out at the requirement for vaccines – meaning animals being given unnecessary injections to protect against conditions which did not exist in either GB or Ireland.

Mr Poots added: “I have written to the EU on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland, highlighting that these requirements for pet travel are not necessary.

“Given that the last case of rabies on these islands was in 1922, these are unnecessary medical interventions. This issue is yet another example of why the Northern Ireland Protocol is not fit for purpose.”

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