The European Commission yesterday proposed extending Malta’s transitional measure applying to the health of pets travelling with their owners from certain countries.
The transitional measure on animal health requirements, or the Pet Regulation, also applies to the UK, Finland, Ireland and Sweden and requires the owners of pet dogs, cats and ferrets travelling with them from those countries to another member state to have a pet passport, or when imported from a third country by a certificate providing proof of a valid anti-rabies vaccination.
The regime has been extended until 31 December 2011 if approved in finality after discussions with the European Parliament and the Council, with a view to formal adoption through the co-decision procedure.
The Regulation also grants a transitional period expiring 30 June 2010 to Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the United Kingdom to make the entry of pet animals into their territory subject to compliance with certain additional requirements in relation to rabies, the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis or ticks.
In order to determine the regime to be applied with effect from 1 July 2010, the Commission carried out an impact assessment based on various recent consultations and on the report that was adopted on 8 October 2007 that took into account the recommendations made by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
EFSA identified that in 2005 certain member states had a non negligible prevalence of rabies in their pet population, which is related to the rabies situation in wildlife, with foxes being the main carriers of rabies in Europe.