Qatar likely to introduce Pet Travel Scheme
by Gulf Times
QATARI authorities are considering the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which allows people to avoid quarantine and other time-consuming procedures when transporting their pets, according to officials from the Animal Resources Department.
An official said that the application had been submitted to the department, and that they were discussing its introduction in Qatar, “but nothing has been decided yet.”
The scheme was started in Europe to help with transporting cats, dogs (and now ferrets) to the UK which has particularly strict entry requirements, and provides a comprehensive programme for monitoring domestic animals. To be given a passport, an animal must have a complete up-to-date vaccination history, a blood test and must be micro-chipped.
Countries apply for the scheme, and depending on approval from the authorities in the EU, become members. Bahrain and the UAE are both members, and have passed on their experience to experts here, who have helped to put together an application ready for the government to submit, explained an animal resource expert.
“The benefits for the country would be obvious: it would provide an up-to-date and comprehensive record of all the pets here, it would protect Qatar from diseases such as rabies, and it would be an added incentive for expatriates coming to live here,” he said.
An animal welfare enthusiast and owner of a boarding kennel in Qatar explained that she had been contacted by several companies inquiring about the scheme.
“For people who will be moving back to the UK in the next few years, the current quarantine regulations of six months are a real deterrent, and people have even been moving to Bahrain and the UAE before going home, just to avoid the lengthy process,” she said.
“If this scheme was introduced, a lot more people would be willing to come to Qatar, and it would also take the pressure off the rescue centre here, as more people would adopt rescue dogs and not dump their pets when they leave,” she added.
Following the success of the programmes in other Gulf countries, one would imagine that it will only be a matter of time before Qatar applies to adopt the scheme as well, which would eradicate hassle for pet-owners who would be able to treat their pooches to a holiday as well, an animal lover said.