Councillors to discuss policy on illegally imported animals

​Date: 18/11/2015

PR ref: 5114

Wakefield councillors are to discuss a policy on how to deal with rabies susceptible animals (cats, dogs and ferrets) which are suspected of being illegally imported.

A demand for unusual breeds of cats and dogs has led to concerns that increased numbers of animals are being brought into the country illegally, bypassing quarantine procedures without having received the necessary health checks and controls. This activity poses a threat to the rabies free status of Britain.

Rabies is a very serious viral infection that targets the brain and nervous system. People can catch the virus if they are bitten by an infected animal.

Members of the Cabinet meeting on November 24 will be asked to agree a policy which sets out how the Council manages imported animals.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities at Wakefield Council, said: "It is very important that we have a policy on how to deal with illegally imported animals, as part of the overall strategy to protect people and their pets from the threat of rabies."

The policy also sets out guidance on how the Council would recover the cost of quarantining any animals suspected of having the disease.