The BVA and BSAVA have welcomed news of the proposed extension to the derogation that allows the UK to apply strictercontrols to the movement of pet animals from other EU Member States.
The proposed extension will also affect Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.
Commenting on the proposal BVA President Nicky Paull said: “Together with the BSAVA we believe the existing transitional arrangements are an important tool in balancing the free movement of animals with the risk of spreading zoonotic diseases such as rabies, echinococcosis and leishmaniasis.
“An extension to the derogation would at least now give us time to work closely with DEFRA and our European colleagues in seeking data to enable a quantative risk assessment to be undertaken. We shall continue to lobby vociferously to maintain our current restrictions to protect both our pets and our people.”
She added: “The BVA will also continue to lobby for the voluntary reporting scheme DACTARI (Dog and Cat Travel and Risk Information) to be made mandatory to ensure more comprehensive monitoring of diseases entering the country.”
The European Commission is proposing that the derogation, currently due to end on 30 June 2010, should be extended until December 31, 2011. The proposal still needs to be agreed by the European Parliament and Council.