The Kennel Club has welcomed the government’s commitment to addressing Brexit pet travel issues, supporting Westminster’s latest and pressing call to lift the barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Kennel Club expressed its praise over the action taken by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in writing to the European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič to seek urgent action on Brexit checks, listing pet travel as one of six top priority areas to negotiate.
Following subsequent crisis talks with the EU, a joint statement has been published stating that the UK and the EU will “immediately work intensively to find solutions to outstanding issues.”
This includes the potential negotiation of a bilateral arrangement that “comprehensively addresses the barriers that are imposed on pet travel between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland”.
The Kennel Club has consistently raised significant concerns about the new rules and the serious implications for dogs, owners and breeders, as well as responsible puppy buying.
The “problematic” policy outlined that owners would need “new, complicated and costly paperwork” to travel with pets for each journey from Great Britain to NI as well as to seek additional and unnecessary vet treatment before entering NI.
Furthermore, UK breeders with new owners based in NI are required to care for puppies for longer than recommended, including socialising and training a litter, with puppies being separated from their mum at a later stage of development, which could potentially lead to behavioural issues.
Dr Ed Hayes, head of public affairs at The Kennel Club said: “We thoroughly support this urgent call for the removal of pet travel barriers which have been imposed between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“After raising our serious concerns about the regulations with Government officials in the UK and Northern Ireland, who clearly are listening and recognise their severity and impact for puppies and dog owners, we are pleased that the EU also appears willing to address this issue.
He added: “We thank the Minister for the Cabinet Office and those MPs who have ensured pet travel remained high on the agenda with the EU and who are working to find a solution for owners and pets in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We will continue to engage and support decision-makers in Government as they work with the EU to identify ways to ease these measures and remove the unnecessary barriers to travel for pet owners.”