22 March 1999
Quarantine to go in two years

BRITAINS 100-year-old quarantine laws are to be scrapped within two years for animals imported from rabies-free countries, reports The Times.

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown is expected to announce before Easter plans for a system of “pet passports” to identify animals by microchips and vaccine records.

The change will mean that owners will be able to take their pets on holiday to to Europe, New Zealand and Australia for £150 a year, plus £60 for follow-up checks.

Animals will also have to be checked by a veterinary surgeon 24 hours before re-entering Britain.

The current law requiring six months quarantine will remain in force for animals coming from Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.