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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Pet tortoise granted island move
A family from Nantwich, Cheshire, have finally been granted permission to take their pet tortoise with them when they emigrate to St Helena.

The Handleys were worried Blitzen might have to stay in Cheshire, because the government on the South Atlantic island had no policy on tortoises.

They were told officials would have to debate the family's request to bring the pet with them.

On Thursday Rob and Sarah Handley said they had finally received permission.

They will now move to St Helena in July so that Mr Handley can take up a job there .

An immigration interviewer told them to e-mail the environment minister for an answer about their tortoise.

"We got an e-mail on Friday from the minister saying 'yes it is fine but he has to go into quarantine'.

"Apart from that Blitzen can go with us, we are over the moon and the children are all delighted.

"We are just relieved they are letting him in," said Mr Handley.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office's St Helena desk confirmed the tortoise would be allowed to go, but would have to go into quarantine along with the Handley's other pets.

Islanders debate tortoise's move
02 Apr 04  |  Staffordshire

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