PETS Scheme Abuse

Came across a blatant, yet unintentional, case of PETS Scheme abuse during our last Scheduled Pet Transport from Spain to the UK via Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Stood at the counter in Pet Passport Control in Calais (Shuttle) I was having our TRACES certificates and pet passports (PETS Scheme) checked, and next to me where a perfectly ‘normal’ respectful middle aged couple with two dogs.

They had the first dog processed no problem: passport checked – was their name, address and signature (both in passport and on microchip registration details), rabies was current with administered date, valid date, and expiry date correct with the same Vets stamp and signature as the Passport Issued Page (so as this had the vets phone number it wasn’t required on the rabies page), and worming had been done 3 days prior with date, time and vets stamp and signature.

Quick scan of the dog and they were good to go.

As for the second dog …..

Was a different owner, that much was quickly apparent as was a different name and address in the passport to the previous dog and while the microchip registration form had been signed by the owner, the passport hadn’t.

“Don’t worry” said the Middle Aged lady, “I will sign it”

“You can’t” said the polite but somewhat incredulous officer at passport control, “It isn’t your dog, so that would be falsifying the passport!”

“But our friends went back to the UK a month or so ago and are missing their dog. We must get the dog to them” said an increasingly distraught lady …. unwittingly digging herself a bigger hole.

“If they went back more than 5 days ago their dog can’t travel on the PETS Scheme” said the now far from impressed office. “If the dog is traveling more than 5 days after the owner or the designated person authorised to transport the dog on their behalf then it must go on the TRACES scheme as a commercial movement”

And then as if in slow motion the lady administered the final nail in her coffin …

“But we are the designated person”

“In that case can I see the signed Declaration by the owner giving you, as an authorised transporter, permission to transport their dog” said the officer.

It was all rather sad as they couple really didn’t know they were doing anything wrong, but the facts are very simple: the passport is a legal document that MUST be completed 100% correctly. The PETS Scheme is a set of rules, all of which must be followed and however unreasonable people think it is you simply are not allowed as a private individual to transport another persons pet. The PETS Scheme is very clear: if you are not taking your own pet it can only be transported by an approved transport organisation.

As for me, I felt sorry for the dog, had some sympathy for the couple but at the end of the day the PETS Schemes guidelines are available widely, and I was sort of pleased to see the Pets Passport Officer adhering to the rules.

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