The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) strongly supports the continued requirements for identification and rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. It recognises the importance of the UK Rabies free status both to animal welfare and to public health and the importance of preventing the importation of classical rabies (Lyassavirus genotype1) into the UK and Ireland.
The BSAVA strongly supports the importance of vigorous monitoring of the rabies vaccination certification process both in the country of origin and in particular at ports of entry into the UK. While BSAVA acknowledges that significant advances in the effectiveness of vaccination have enabled many countries to control rabies in both companion animal and wildlife populations, and accepts that changes to the Pet Travel Scheme have been based on risk assessment, it continues to recommend regular re-evaluation of the risk to take account of changes in the disease status of the country of origin.
The BSAVA supports the need for the continued provision of quarantine facilities to enable quarantine of any animal which enters UK without complying with the regulations or in the case of a disease outbreak. BSAVA recommends that due consideration is given to the welfare of animals in quarantine and the use of environmental enrichment to ensure that the welfare needs of the animals are met.