Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Canine non grata?

The title of this post is my attempt at a play on words on the phrase 'personna non grata' -- an unwelcome person or undesirable guest or acquaintance.   Or maybe the title should be:  Love me, love my dog!  What I find annoying is some of the ways that man (or woman's) best friend is treated by various bureaucracies if you attempt to bring your pet to your vacation home, for example.

I recently looked into what is involved in bringing a dog to Panama.    If you looked at a picture of the Panama skyline:


you might think it is Miami but it isn't, it's Panama City.   However, the way the country deals with its canine population is behind its architectural development.  There are many stray, unneutered dogs prowling through garbage on the streets and highways.   There are dog corpses lying in ditches and the sides of highways at times.   The organization Spay Panama has done much work to neuter and spay cats and dogs throughout Panama and has treated thousands of animals with limited resources, dependent entirely on donations.  

But this apathy seems at odds with the requirements to bring to Panama a dog or cat from the U. S. or Canada.   This website The Gringo Guide to Panama has this to say: 

Preparing to move your pet by yourself involves concentrated, almost full-time focus in the weeks prior to your actual move. Most paperwork must be completed within 21 days prior to your departure. If you screw this up, your pet will not be able to go with you, so pay attention!

The writer goes on to give details of the necessary action involving both the office of the Secretary of State (for Americans), the Department of Health and the Panamanian Embassy.  But I must not pick on one country.   Guatemala, for some reason, requires:

Certificate of pedigree legalized by the Guatemalan Consulate at origin.  The certificate expires 30 days from the date of issue.  The pet must enter Guatemala at least 5 days before the expiration date. More details here.

I can't decide if  the situation is laughable or embarrassing.  I can't imagine what difference the pedigree makes.   What if the dog is what used to be called a Heinz 57?

On the other hand, the United Kingdom's requirements can  all be met with one vet visit:

PART A Entry to the UK from other EU Member States and

approved non-EU countries:

For your pet to enter the UK from these countries, you must answer ‘yes’ to the following questions: • Is it microchipped1? • Is it currently vaccinated against rabies?

• Was it vaccinated after it was microchipped and was the rabies vaccination administered as per the vaccine manufacturer’s data sheet?
*    Have you got an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate2 from your vet certifying the microchip and vaccination?

 Have at least 21 days passed since it was vaccinated?

 • Are you travelling into the UK with your pet on an approved route with an approved      transport company?    

 Has a vet treated your dog for tapeworm 1-5 days before its arrival in the UK and recorded   the treatment (with exact times) in the passport or Official Health Certificate?

  I wonder  how many pets are left home with friends or relatives or kennels.  Look at this sad face: 


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