Icelandic Government May Soon Review Laws On Importing Cats And Dogs - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Government May Soon Review Laws On Importing Cats And Dogs

Published April 17, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Helgi Halldórsson/Wikimedia Commons

A new report commissioned by the Icelandic government has concluded that Iceland could relax its pet quarantine laws without significantly increasing risks. The Icelandic Kennel Club (HRFÍ) has been a vocal advocate of dialling back the length of quarantine times.

Iceland’s laws on importing cats and dogs are notoriously strict, requiring a four-week quarantine period for any animal a person hopes to bring into the country. Attempts to thwart this law are often met with swift retribution; the animal may be put down by authorities, at full cost to the owner.

The results of a new report, conducted at the behest of Iceland’s Ministry of Industries and Innovation by Dr. Preben Willeberg, a Senior Veterinary Global Health Specialist at the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance at the School of Veterinary Medicine in California, indicates that Iceland could learn from other relatively isolated countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, where quarantine periods are typically only 10 days long.

Iceland could also base quarantine times on the pet’s country of origin. Cats and dogs originating from Northern Europe, for example, pose a significantly lower risk of bringing infectious disease than animals from warmer climes.

HRFÍ has welcomed the results, and called upon the Icelandic government to review its current animal quarantine laws.

A response to the report from the Icelandic government is still pending.

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