Friday 3rd February 2012 – I really must speak out!

I’m sorry, but I can’t keep quiet about this any longer. There has been a lot of discussion about the changes in the regulations relating to pets travelling to and from Europe. As far as I can see it is a good thing. Certainly it means a situation like the one Shadow found herself in last year can never happen to any other dog. How would you like to find yourself pregnant and being told you can’t go home and have to have your puppies in a strange place? Now I realise most of you can’t imagine having puppies, but just for a moment put yourself in Shadow’s shoes. She would have to have brought back seven thirteen week old puppies when the rules changed and from my experience of Ari, one is quite enough.

Anyway, there are people out there who are scare mongering and trying to campaign for the reintroduction of controls because they are saying we will end up with rabies in this country. Now, call me a cynic if you like, but most of the people who are scare mongering are people who run things like Quarantine Kennels and who lose out because of the change in the regulations. I’m sorry, but rabble rousing purely for your own interests and misleading the public in the process is out of order. They point to incidents such as the puppies brought into the country from an unknown source in the back of a van. These were nothing to do with the regulations changing – they were brought in illegally, in the same way animals were brought in illegally when the regulations were tighter. That cannot be used to show why a change in the regulations was wrong.

I have relatives in many countries far and near and none of them have suffered from rabies. The change in regulations does not mean that all of a sudden the dog population is at risk, or for that matter the cat population. If you are worried then simply have your pet vaccinated. I can tell you from first paw experience that the vaccination doesn’t really hurt. It leaves you a bit sleepy the following day, but to be honest I put that down as a plus point.

The change in regulations is very good news for the responsible dog owning world. It now makes it much easier for new breeding lines to be brought into the UK to widen the gene pool and reduce the risk of inherited disease by inbreeding. There has been enough of a furore about the health problems in pedigree dogs, this gives a real opportunity for some of those to be corrected. It does not mean more dogs will end up in shelters. Why would it? There still can’t be a mass influx of dogs. They still have to be rabies vaccinated to enter the country and be 13 weeks old. They are still treated against tapeworm and have to be microchipped. If a new owner has gone to all that trouble they aren’t going to promptly drop the dog off at the nearest shelter.

It is irresponsible breeding and ownership in this country that means thousands of dogs end up homeless. It’s time the spotlight was turned on some of the real problems and not angled in the direction of the responsible end of the market.

For the record, I have no immediate plans to holiday abroad but my rabies vaccination is due in a couple of weeks and I will be raising my paw and only flinching slightly when the needle is pushed in. In return I will get an extra dog biscuit ration, a day of pampering and the knowledge that I can travel freely to meet my family whenever I choose. The change in regulations is a good thing for us dogs. Don’t let selfish people who stand to lose out financially by the changes, pull the wool over your eyes and persuade you otherwise.

Alfie Dog with a little help from Rosemary J Kind

Alfie’s Diary – the Book is available at Amazon UK –

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