Rosemary Barton MLA, Ulster Unionist spokesperson on Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs, has launched an online petition to press the EU Commission and UK Government to remove the current obstacles on travel for dogs, cats and ferrets between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Mrs Barton said:
“One of the adverse impacts of the new Brexit regulations on travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland for dogs, cats, ferrets and the pet owners is that they must have an animal health certificate travelling from GB to Northern Ireland.
As a result of Brexit legislation it will mean pet owners, guide dog and assistance dog owners who wish to travel with their pets, will incur unnecessary expense.
This will have a significant adverse effect on:
· People who regularly travel back from GB to Northern Ireland with pets to visit family in Northern Ireland or returning from family visits in GB to Northern Ireland;
· As a result of these changes Guide Dogs for the Blind are even stopping using volunteer puppy raisers & potentially compromising replacement guide dogs being available to guide dog owners in Northern Ireland;
· A lot of pet owners enjoy holidaying with their pets and won't be willing to travel here with the new regulations;
· Northern Ireland championship dog shows which is an enjoyable pastime will become unviable;
· The viability of field trial events will be questionable.
“I have written to the Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA and George Eustice MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asking them to intervene to alleviate the terrible position that Volunteer Puppy Raisers for Guide Dogs in Northern Ireland now find themselves in.
“The EU Commission and UK Government can easily resolve this by allowing free movement of domestic animals between jurisdictions.
“I encourage as many people possible, particularly those with an interest in pets and guide dogs, to sign and support the petition.”
Link to the online petition: