Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Rabies Vaccination Warning From Trading Standards

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards is warning people thinking of bringing a puppy into the country from abroad to ensure the animal is eligible for import with a legal rabies vaccination.

The warning comes after three puppies were taken into quarantine in the space of five days after it was found their vaccinations did not meet legal requirements.

In two of the cases, the owners had their puppy vaccinated in Poland and Hungary before bringing it into the UK, but the vaccine was given to the animals when they were too young and would not be effective.

The third case involved a 10-week old puppy which was bought on-line and does not appear to have been vaccinated at all.

All three puppies have now been placed in quarantine for several weeks at a cost to the owner of between £600-£1,000.

Under strict import laws which aim to prevent Rabies from entering the country, all dogs brought into the UK from the EU and EU listed countries must:

  • Have an EU Pet Passport
  • Be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified
  • Have been vaccinated against Rabies
  • In most circumstances a puppy must be at least 12 weeks of age before the rabies vaccination can be given and a waiting period of 21 days after the vaccination date must be allowed for, before the animal is brought into the UK
  • In most cases the dog must also be treated for tapeworm.

More information about pet travel regulations at:  https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad

Trading Standards Officers are advising people to be extra cautious when buying puppies from internet sites and to make sure they do not part with any money without being certain of the animal’s age and origin. The animals can appear cheaper but after quarantine charges they can be significantly more expensive.

County Council Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Skills, Councillor Mathew Shuter, said: “The UK is in the privileged position of being classed as ‘Rabies-free,’ but it is something we have to work hard to maintain. Our officers act swiftly to ensure such illegal imported pets are detained and quarantined in order to protect the public.

“We would urge anyone looking to import a pet, or buy an imported pet, to fully satisfy themselves that the disease preventative measures are in place to protect their own health, the wellbeing of the animal, and to protect the wider population.”

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals and can be fatal. It can be contracted through a bite from an infected animal or from saliva entering an open wound from an animal infected with the disease.

The best advice to buyers is to view any puppy and its documents prior to purchasing. If there is any doubt about the puppy’s history then speak to your vet or Trading Standards before agreeing to buy.