We are clear that we meet all the requirements to gain both part 1 listed status and recognition of the UK’s tapeworm-free status. We see no valid animal health reason for those not to be granted. We are carrying out further engagement to make progress on this issue.
I thank the Minister for her answer and wonder whether she could elaborate. My constituent, Stephen, who is blind and partially deaf, has an assistance dog called Jodie. Steven has told me that he is required to pay £160 for an animal health certificate and vaccines each time he takes Jodie to an EU country. I wrote to DEFRA on Steven’s behalf more than a year ago and received a response that basically said that the change has still not happened. Does the Minister recognise the impact of this slow progress on Stephen and other people who rely on assistance dogs? Could she elaborate further on what Stephen might do?
I do recognise the challenge. There is no change for animals coming from the EU to here and there is no reason why that arrangement should not be reciprocal. We are proactively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders and we are continuing the engagement with the EU to make sure that we can overcome this challenge.