It appears that everything is being done to make things as difficult and complicated, not to mention time-consuming and costly, for pet owners to travel with their animals under the new Passport for Pets scheme which comes into effect on February 28, when the century-old anti-rabies laws are abolished in the United Kingdom. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, MAFF, managed to throw a pre-Christmas cracker in the works by announcing that all pet documentation has to be correct and in order six months prior to travel, to comply with the new regulations that require pets to be in possession of a full passport and an export licence. Yesterday a spokesperson for MAFF told the Bulletin that the export licence requirement is “nothing new and unexpected.” “It should not be a problem for pet owners, although we will intend to try and work things out in the near future,” MAFF added. But while the thrust of European unification is to unite everybody and everything, export licence requirements vary from country to country and MAFF's best advice for pet owners wanting to travel with their animals is to simply make sure they meet all the “strict” requirements.

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