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JSPCA's staff offered rabies jab amid pet passport fears

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STAFF at the JSPCA have been offered the rabies vaccine amid fears that the pet passport scheme could lead to a case of the disease in Jersey.

In 2012 the practice of quarantining pets for six months before entering Britain was scrapped, as the pet movement rules were harmonised with the rest of the EU.

A system of pet passports was introduced, together with mandatory microchipping of animals, to ensure that they had the necessary vaccinations for travel.

However, an investigation by the Dogs Trust found that puppies were being trafficked illegally into the UK from eastern Europe, where in some countries rabies still exists, without the required vaccinations on a daily basis.

That means trafficked puppies could, in theory, enter Jersey, because it is not a requirement to display the pet passport when bringing an animal from the UK into the Island.

Now Major Stephen Coleman, the chief executive of the JSPCA, has revealed that he has offered all his staff the rabies vaccine as a precaution.

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