QUARANTINE FOR ANIMALS

 

Sir, - It has come to my attention that there is a growing concern regarding the quarantine period required for cats and dogs brought into Ireland from countries other than the UK. The Importation of Cats and Dogs Act 1929-1976 requires a six month quarantine for both cats and dogs at the Lissenhall Kennels in Swords.

As I understand, this is to prevent any incidence of rabies from entering your country. I must state that the six month period is excessive, and potentially harmful to the animals forced to endure separation from the families of which they are a part.

After arriving from the United States on August 2nd, our two dogs have been held at the Lissenhall Kennel. While the staff in the quarantine kennel are kind and mindful, it is still heartbreaking to see our dogs, who are very much a part of our family, remain in the kennel at the end of our limited visits. As we approach the halfway point of their confinement, and look at yet another three months without them, the Irish law mandating the quarantine seems more and more ridiculous. Dogs entering Ireland from countries where rabies does not exist, such as Japan, Spain and Australia, must still endure the six month quarantine. Why?

We can produce medical records for both our dogs citing each and every vaccination they have ever had since they were puppies, which include parvoinfluenza, distemper and bordatella in addition to rabies. At no time during the application process for an Irish import license was the vaccination status of our dogs requested. It seems to me that proof of vaccination, along with the international health certificate required for each dog, would be more than sufficient to establish a dog's health status and on which to determine a limited quarantine period.

The six month blanket quarantine for all dogs and cats entering Ireland is excessive, not only in the time animals are separated from their families but in the expense involved in quarantine fees. I am not against a mandatory quarantine period but rather, I am for one that is determined by saner and fairer criteria.

Yours, etc.,

Grattan Court,

Celbridge,

Co Kildare.