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Dogs: Quarantine

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the scientific basis is for dogs arriving in the United Kingdom from areas to which the pet passport scheme does not apply to be required to spend six months in quarantine. (181648)

The quarantine period of six months is linked with the potential incubation period of rabies and was established in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee of Enquiry on Rabies in 1971 (The Waterhouse Report). The Kennedy Report (Quarantine and Rabies: A Reappraisal) published in 1998, reviewed the quarantine period and concluded that it should remain six months for countries other than those to which the pet travel scheme applies.

DEFRA is carrying out a review of its rabies import control policy, including quarantine. The evidence from the review, including an independent veterinary risk assessment of the introduction of rabies into the UK, indicates that the UK's current import controls may no longer be proportionate to the risk of rabies entering the UK. The conclusions of that review are being considered further.

No decisions have yet been made on any changes to our quarantine controls or pet travel scheme requirements and for the present all current controls continue to apply.