Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ooo, now is that an Italian Greyhound or a whippet? No, it's a ferret actually.

So, what now?
Holidays of course! Yeah I know I have school fees to scrape together, VAT to pay, tax due at the end of January, credit card bills mounting up, but a teeny little mini-break to Le Touquet isn’t really a holiday… more a necessity after the excesses of Christmas. Running around on the beach with the dogs, kite flying, lots of healthy sea air - it’s just what the doctor ordered. And its so easy now because from 1st January DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) have simplified the rules around taking your pets to the continent (and more importantly, bringing them back into the UK) to fall in line with the rest of Europe - and about bloody time too. There is a possibility of a person dying from rabies contracted from a pet once every 21,000 years in the UK so it's really time they shifted their focus.
Here’s a little clip from last time we went to Le Touquet-

frolicking around on the sand before heading off to the French vet for a seven hour wait while he sees every other animal in the village before ushering us into the surgery for an appointment long enough to give the dogs an over-the-counter tape worm pill and stamp their passports while we count out 150 euros. Then we still have to leave extra time to visit the official at the port before being allowed onto the shuttle. Grrrr...
Now those days are over - we can hop across the channel on a whim, maybe head onto Paris without the headache of trying to locate a local vet that is open at the weekend and has a slot to see us more than 24 hours but less than 48 hours before our due arrival time back at Folkestone. Hurrah!
Right, let’s go and check the DEFRA website for the latest news… blimey this is dry. Here we go "NEW RULES MEAN IT WILL BE EASIER AND CHEAPER TO TRAVEL ABROAD WITH PETS". Great! Never having to see the inside of a French vet's poxy waiting room again! Trying to keep the boys amused for hours by studying the Is Your Dog the Correct Weight poster when they should be playing football on the beach. Struggling to keep the dogs under control in a room full of cats when they could be stretched out on the banquettes in the Sports Bar. I feel a real sense of freedom! How exciting!
Hang on. What’s this? "The relaxation of the tapeworm treatment applies only to cats and ferrets. Dogs will still need to visit a vet in France. A qualified vet must record the treatment in your pet's passport. The vet will charge you for this service. The treatment must be carried out every time your pet enters the UK...." ****ing ****. I'm FURIOUS! And I smell a great big fat rat. Apparently 'exotic tapeworm' is the new threat to civilisation. It's just money for ***k all for the French vets and another drain on responsible pet owners in the UK. 
Oh, mind you, this bit’s helpful. "To find a vet in France consult the French Yellow pages and look up veterinaire, or contact the Consulate” Yeah right, thanks very much DEFRA. Our taxes are clearly well spent on you lot. ****s.
Brian! Bring the sewing machine down from the loft when you put the Christmas decorations back can you?! I’m going to run the dogs up a couple of ferret outfits.

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