Let's abolish cruel and unnecessary quarantine law

ARTICLES and letters have appeared in the South China Morning Post on various aspects of animal welfare. Yet nothing is said or printed on the subject of quarantine in the United Kingdom - a law which is thought by many to be out-dated and cruel.

As a dog owner, Mr Patten could use some of his negotiating skills to help change the British way of perceiving things.

All dogs and cats returning to the UK have to be quarantined for six months. One year, our time, equals seven to a dog. This means that dogs and cats are caged for the equivalent of 31/2 years. Not only do owners of pets entering the UK have to come up with the GBP1,000 or so to pay for this antiquated expensive exercise, but they have to abide by the often ridiculous visiting rules of quarantine kennels. I imagine that the above has a very direct bearing on the numbers of animals the RSPCA has to put down each year.

Our dog has the intelligence of a deaf and dumb three-year-old child and is used to constant human company. Should I leave one of our children in a cage, without any explanation for a few days only, I would be stupid not to expect major long-term problems.

The last case of rabies on Hongkong Island was 20 years ago.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is one of the most policed organisations in the world.


A certificate of good health from such a vet together with the necessary proof of inoculations, should be all that is needed to by-pass quarantine in the UK. This is the case in almost all other countries, the exception being Australia.

I had hoped that when the new EC trading regulations came into practice at the beginning of the year, quarantine would be abolished in the UK or the RSPCA would turn its attention to this subject. Neither has happened.

R. JONES Mid-Levels