13 August 2010

Two nine-week-old pug puppies from Lithuania have been taken into quarantine by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service this week (Wednesday 12th August).

Both puppies had been microchipped, showing the Lithuania country code on the chip number. They also had Lithuanian paperwork which detailed routine vaccinations, but did not include a rabies vaccination as they are too young.

For dogs, cats and other mammals to enter the UK, it is necessary for them to have either spent six months in approved quarantine kennels or to have complied with the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

To re-enter the UK without quarantine from a country listed in the scheme’s regulations, which includes Lithuania, a pet must, in this order, be micro chipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. It must also be issued with an EU pet passport and treated against ticks and tapeworms.

In addition, a dog or cat may not enter the UK under PETS until six calendar months have passed from the date that a vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result. Once the vet has issued the PETS documentation and the six-month period has passed, the PETS documentation is valid for a pet to enter the UK.

Because the puppies are only nine and ten weeks old, it is clear that it would be impossible for them to have complied with the PETS requirements and therefore trading standards believe they have entered the UK illegally and must go into quarantine for six months to enable them to stay in this country.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “It appears that the two puppies arrived in this country illegally, breaching regulations that are in place to safeguard against rabies and other diseases and I am pleased that trading standards were able to act so quickly to take both the dogs into quarantine. Public health is a key priority for our county and therefore we take any infringement very seriously and will take the appropriate action as quickly as possible.

“Members of the public wishing to take their dogs abroad on holiday with them are reminded that these animals must also comply with PETS and that the process should be undertaken in good time for a holiday. Full details of PETS can be obtained from your vet or found on the Defra website.

Enquiries are continuing to investigate when and where the puppies entered the UK.