More people will be able to take their pets on holiday without having to worry about consigning them to six months' quarantine before getting them back to Hong Kong. Officials from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department say a pilot pet travel scheme launched last year has been a success and they eventually hope to launch a 'pet passport'. Negotiations are under way between the SAR and a number of other countries to make short-stay pet travel possible, says Dr Howard Wong Kai-hay, head of the department's import control section. Seven quarantine waivers - certificates of good health allowing access to the United States and Canada and a trouble-free return to the SAR - have been issued since the scheme was introduced in August. 'We aim to relax quarantine requirements step by step, and eventually to issue a passport-style document to allow pets to travel more freely from one place to another,' said Dr Wong. 'We're working to convince other countries to recognise the SAR-issued documents.' Under previous quarantine requirements, dogs and cats from the SAR, once leaving for countries that were free from rabies or had limited rabies cases, had to be quarantined for six months. Last year, 53 imported dogs and 24 cats were placed in quarantine at the department's two animal management centres in Kowloon City and Hong Kong Island. To get a quarantine waiver, an owner needs a blood test result from a local private vet to prove the animal has immunity against rabies before leaving the SAR. A health certificate from a vet in the travelling country is also required. The waiver is good for a year after the blood test.