Recently it has been announced that the free travel of dogs without a pet passport from Ireland to the UK is going to stop. It will mean the deaths of thousands more Irish dogs because of the costs incurred to rescues to purchase and organise these passports.
Under EU law for the protection of citizens from rabies, dogs, cats and ferrets moving between EU Member States should be accompanied by EU Pet Passports certifying microchip identification and rabies vaccination. However given that Ireland and UK traditionally operated a rabies free zone, both States agreed, on a risk analysis basis, that border compliance checks would not be undertaken.
So what has changed?
Over the last few months, on two different occasions, dogs supplied by commercial breeders in Ireland to clients in Great Britain were deemed to be illegally imported as they did not have the required paperwork and vaccination to show their compliance with EU law; on one of the occasions, a dog was seized from the client’s home and placed in quarantine for 4 weeks. It is now clear that the British authorities have moved to fully implement EU law.
Cost – It will add about €90 to the cost of saving every dog which makes it financially almost impossible. This is on top of the costs already incurred from vaccinating, neutering, transporting and kennelling the dogs for their journey to the UK.
Dogs Trust Ireland based in Dublin, sends about 1,000 dogs a year to the UK a year through their rehoming centres there. They now reckon it will cost them close to €1 million a year extra to comply with the new rules – a complete waste of donated funds that could be used to save more dogs.
Time – Rabies vaccines need to be administered at least 21 days before the dog can travel. Rescues have limited space and cannot hold every dog for the 3 weeks extra needed. Holding dogs for 3 weeks extra once again pushes up the costs incurred.
Why do we ship dogs to the UK?
Unfortunately there are simply not enough homes for all the dogs that go through the pounds and rescues in Ireland and homes can be found easier for them in the UK. Greyhounds especially are not seen as pets in Ireland and these are the dogs that will suffer the most.
EU requirements for all dogs, cats and ferrets moving from Ireland to GB (i.e. across Irish Sea):
EU Pet Passport (obtainable from your vet) showing –
• Microchip identification
• Valid rabies vaccination (i.e. administered according to the manufacturer’s protocol). The primary (first) rabies vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before travel.
What can we do about it?
A petition has been set up to lobby against this. We would appreciate if everyone could sign.
Until a permanent solution is found this is the publics voice to save the dogs.