Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 08:32 GMT


Pet passports on the way

This Rottweiler may soon have a passport

The government is set to scrap the UK's tough quarantine rules and replace them with a system of pet passports and microchips.

A commons statement is expected later this week from Agriculture Minister Nick Brown.

[ image: The chips would be embedded under an animals' skin]
The chips would be embedded under an animals' skin
A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said: "Ministers have indicated that quarantine reform is desirable. An announcement can be expected soon."

The new scheme would reduce the numbers of animals kept for six months in quarantine as they enter the country.

This costs owners up to 2,000 and often results in heartbreak for owners who miss their pets.

A report in The Times newspaper says the prime minister is behind the idea.

But it believes his deputy, John Prescott, is concerned over the extra burdens that may be placed on airports and ferry companies.

[ image: Pet passport control is computerised in Sweden]
Pet passport control is computerised in Sweden
A system of microchips and passports is already in operation in Sweden.

The chips are embedded under a pet's skin and those with a clean bill of health are permitted to travel freely through the country ports.

A campaign group Passports for Pets has been bidding for the UK to adopt similar measures.

But Mr Brown has been at pains to make clear that his "primary concern is to protect the country from rabies" and not to satisfy the demands of pet owners.

The Swedish scheme applies only to animals from other European Union countries, and they are still checked and vaccinated four months after entering the country.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

29 Oct 98|UK Politics
Passports 'on the way' for pets

06 Aug 98|UK
Animal lovers press for pet passports

18 Jun 98|UK Politics
Quarantine rules branded 'cruel and unfair'

Internet Links

Passports For Pets

HM Customs and Excise


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online