Rosemary Kind 0

Persuade DEFRA to accept DNA evidence to allow Shadow home

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When a microchip in a pet fails while they are outside of the UK and they are refused entry for the journey home it is always newsworthy. Shadow's story is even more so. Our two and a half year old girl, "Shadow", had been with me to Switzerland to mate with a stud dog there and her chip failed while we were away. On Friday 22nd July she was refused entry to the UK and now we have been told by the chip manufacturer that the chip, which was surgically removed, cannot be read by their initial processes. The implication of this is that her status as a fully inoculated and rabies free animal cannot be verified even though her passport is completely up to date and had been checked only weeks before. Unless we can persuade DEFRA to accept DNA evidence of her identity she will have to stay abroad until the 1st of January when the travel rules for dogs on PETS passports are relaxed, otherwise it would have been until the end of February. As long as her mating has worked, she will be away from home when her litter is born in September, unless we are prepared to countenance air freighting a pregnant animal and allowing her to have puppies whilst in quarantine in the UK, which frankly we are not willing to do. We have spoken to DEFRA about whether they will accept DNA evidence of her identity and despite the fact that a sample of her DNA is held by the University of Zurich as part of an academic study and linked to her microchip they say there is no circumstance in which they will accept this proof. Although DNA testing is accepted by the courts as legal proof of paternity, DEFRA will not accept it for animals. Given that the rules are changing from 1st January, DEFRA have already accepted that there is no material risk of rabies from animals such as our pet so to accept the DNA would not set an unreasonable precedent. Any pressure that can be brought on DEFRA to allow Shadow to be brought home will be appreciated.

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