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Puppy-seller refused entry to Island

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A PUPPY-SELLER was turned away from the Harbour last month while trying to bring three dogs into the Island for a Jersey client who had paid over £3,000 for them.

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The breeder, who had travelled from St Malo, was found not to be carrying the correct paperwork or import licence.

So far this year, a total of 28 import licences have been issued for 19 cats and 83 dogs from European Union countries.

Now, Brian Smith, the States vet, is reminding those who bring animals into the Island to ensure that they have all the correct documents in place.

He also urged Islanders to ensure that they visited puppies they were intending to buy to mitigate the risk of health problems – something which did not happen in the latest case.

‘Ideally obtaining a pet from a registered local breeder where you can visit the owner and – in the case of a puppy or kitten – see it with its mother, is the preferred option as this helps to mitigate disease and ensures the best welfare for the animal,’ he said.

‘However, if people do choose to import they must make sure they follow the correct procedures. If the paperwork is not in order, the animal and owner may be refused entry and sent back to the port of departure.

‘If a person is looking to get a pet from outside the Channel Islands and the UK, advice can be found on the government website. There is an associated leaflet with advice on obtaining dogs and cats.’

Anyone wishing to import an animal into Jersey must first inform Jersey authorities as soon as possible as the administrative process can take a number of weeks or even months.

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Meanwhile, Ashley Pinel, States veterinary assistant, said that when visiting any prospective puppies, the breeder should be asked for an European Union TRACES certificate – only obtainable if the seller is a registered breeder.

‘All registered breeders will have to register with their country’s competent authority to get a TRACES certificate. You can only get one by being registered.

‘If people are still unsure after this, they can contact us and we can carry out checks.’

He also spoke about the recent entry refusal, adding that the Jersey family had been disappointed but fully appreciated rules were in place.

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‘Unfortunately, the breeder thought they just needed a pet passport to move the animals from one country to another.’

More information can be found by visiting gov.je/pettravel.

The documents required for importing animals into the Island for rehoming or sale are:

  • An import licence issued by the veterinary team in the Natural Environment Department.
  • An EU Intra Trade Animal Health certificate.
  • A valid pet passport for each animal.
Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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