.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ferrets in need

This is a big issue in the North West of England and Portugal it seems:

7 November 2005

A bid by a North West Euro-MP to allow British ferret owners to take theirpets to Portugal has failed.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies was asked to take up the case 2 years ago when it became clear that the new EU pets' passport scheme would apply to ferrets as well as to cats and dogs.
Ferret owners here in the North West expressed concern that in Portugal ferrets are not regarded as domestic animals and it is illegal to keep them as pets. The animals can be used only for hunting purposes and must have a government permit.

Mr Davies was asked to warn British ferret owners that their animals couldbe seized and killed if they make the mistake of taking them on holiday to Portugal.

In a letter shown to the MEP a distraught Portuguese ferret owner, who keeps pet ferrets in secret, wrote: “We still live in the shadow and every time I see a police car parked near my house I think, this is it, they are coming for my ferrets.”

Mr Davies called on the Portuguese government to change its rules and giveferret fanciers in the country the same rights as elsewhere in Europe. Heasked the European Parliament’s petition’s committee to judge whether thePortugal was breaking the rules of the pets’ passport scheme.
But now the Parliament has ruled against the claim that the country islimiting the free movement of pets across the EU. It says that Portugal is within its rights to maintain that ferrets cannot be ‘pets’ in that country.

Mr Davies described the ruling as a massive blow to Portuguese ferret owners.

He said: "I accept that the EU should only get involved in matters of cross border importance but if there was any scientific justification for banning the keeping of ferrets other countries would have done the same long ago.”

The MEP’s call for free movement of ferrets had the backing of North Westanimal rescue charity 'Ferrets in Need'. Their spokesperson, Ruth Corbett, was frustrated to hear of the news.
She said: “I can honestly say that I am disappointed that people cannottravel with their ferrets to Portugal. I visited Lisbon a few years ago onbusiness and thought that Portugal was a place where I would really like to live, but with 14 ferretty friends that would be impossible.”

There are thought to be only about 300 people discretely keeping pet ferrets in Portugal compared to an estimated 1 million in Britain. The Pet Passport scheme builds on British practice to end quarantine arrangements across Europe for pets that have been vaccinated against rabies.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?