A Senedd Member has said that pets from Ukraine are not being allowed to travel from isolation in England into Wales with families who seek refugee here.
Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders questioned the Welsh Government’s position on the isolation of pets arriving from Ukraine in the Senedd today.
Rural Affairs minister Lesley Griffiths said that while some animals with the right vaccines and documentation could enter Wales straight away, the Welsh Government did not offer home containment for animals that needed to stay in quarantine.
“Things can go wrong, and whilst I appreciate it is a very low risk, I have to say there were 1,800 cases of rabies in Ukraine last year. We haven’t had rabies in this country for 100 years,” she said.
Janet Finch-Saunders said that pets were being held in isolation units in England, even after receiving the necessary immunizations, a policy that was at odds with England, she said.
“It appears that the Welsh Government has failed to establish the necessary mechanisms to allow pets arriving from Ukraine to complete their isolation at home with their owners after receiving the necessary immunizations,” she said.
“I would urge the Welsh Government to work with the Animal Plant Health Agency to urgently allow beloved animals to be returned to their owners, providing just a small sense of home to families looking to rebuild their lives here in Wales. As is this case in England.”
Lesley Griffiths responded to her comments by saying that “the difference here in Wales is we don’t have home containment”.
“Pets will have to go into quarantine if they don’t meet all the criteria,” she said. “So, if a pet has been vaccinated against rabies, has a pet passport, has all the correct paperwork and is microchipped, they will absolutely be able to go with the family or with the person straight away.
“Home containment is very difficult to monitor and very difficult to enforce, so we are sticking with the approved quarantine units that have been there for many, many years.
“I have to make sure that our animals here in Wales are protected, the health of the animal coming from Ukraine is protected, and of course that public health is protected also.”
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