PETS TO TRAVEL INTO THE UK
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I hope this letter can bring to your attention a matter that is serious to most pet owners and pet lovers.
The law that is currently in place for pets travelling into the UK isn't adequate for most people who travel and own pets in the 21st Century.
I have had dogs since as long as I can remember and I travel with my pets everywhere, until I moved to London. The strict rules of not being to travel into the UK with your pet (ie; Eurostar or flying on any airlines) makes it impossible...
I understand that Great Britain is an island that fears the risk of contracting Rabies, but if you have a pet passport, including microchips, why is it still close to impossible to fly in with your pet? The only solution is to drive into England via the Euro Tunnel or to send them via Cargo. So to fly to the UK, with your pet, you will need to spend a considerable amount of money and to make it go through Cargo.
As an example, to fly one cat as cargo from Europe to London costs around £600 (approx. €700), whereas taking a cat or small dog into the cabin with you to go from France to Germany, Holland or Belgium will only incur the cost of extra hand luggage, charged per kilo (between £50 and £100, in the cabin or hold).
The following are the results that these high prices (which can NOT be justified) that the UK/Ireland charges are causing:
1. A big increase in pets being abandoned because people cannot afford the cost to get their animal back to the UK/Ireland (especially during this time of economic crisis). We witness it all the time, people who leave the European country they have lived in to return to the UK/Ireland, simply "dumping" their animals on the street or with people whom they tell "it´s only for a short while, we´ll come back and pick up the cat/dog in a month or so" (of course they don´t come back), who then in turn tend to dump or neglect these animals.
2. The local charities who are already stretched to the limits cannot cope with the increased amount of abandoned animals.
3. Cats that are not feral to begin with who are abandoned can suffer and die from depression and do not fare well living on the streets, and dogs generally end up getting run over by a car, or euthanized in a crowded shelter.
WHY do most other European airlines that operate in, for example, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain etc., allow small pets to travel inside the cabin, paid for as extra hand luggage, but UK and Irish airlines do not? And do not let them fly in the hold either.
Since there is no more quarantine these days and the PETS Scheme applies to the UK and Ireland as well, this is obviously not because of health and safety issues, but surely comes down only to money and greed and not the welfare of our pets.
This is costly as well as not great for the pets in question. Some people end up leaving their pets behind.
Please consider this issue that is distressing to many of us as well as our beloved pets.
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