Ukrainian family considers going home as rules don’t allow cats to stay | UK | News

The three-generation family traveled to Wales in a Volkswagen Polo, travelling across Europe with their three cats and a Chilean dégu squirrel. However, faced with the prospect of living without a beloved cat – pampered by eight-year-old Ryta, who also has special educational needs – the family of five wants to leave before they’ve barely settled down. Unlike England and Scotland, Wales has yet to implement home isolation measures The rules allow households’ pets to be released to them instead of being held in cat kennels 170 miles outside the border.

Unlike England and Scotland.

Lena, 53, went to Montgomery in Powys with her three children Ana, 33, Vika, 25, Alexie, 13, and Ana’s daughter Rita. They were taken in by married couple Mark and Sue Michaels, who were able to house them in their five-bedroom house.

According to Wales Online, Mark said the family was “distraught” by the Welsh rules prohibiting their pets from staying with them, and they were looking to cross the border and even return to their home in Kyiv. Su added: “Their confidence in the system has completely disappeared. Can you imagine going back to a war zone and not without cats?”

The UK government has changed rules for bringing pets into the country for Ukrainians fleeing the war and will pay for any quarantine, vaccinations and microchipping. Home isolation is possible once it is proven that the pet has been vaccinated against rabies and a blood test has been done to confirm that it has developed antibodies. But this is not allowed by the Welsh government because it cannot be enforced.

The family’s cat has been taken to a 4 Paws-approved site in Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool, but has not yet returned home.Mark explained: “We got a call from Animal Health saying they [the cats] Having passed their antibody test, she is doing a home inspection on the phone so that a home quarantine permit can be issued. However, as soon as I said Wales, she stopped me saying she couldn’t continue because it was a devolved issue and Wales didn’t have home isolation like England and Scotland. “

The UK government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) website states: “Depending on your pet’s vaccinations and medical care, APHA may send you a home isolation form. This will ask you where you will live. You and your UK owners must complete this information and email it back to APHA. APHA will email you if your pet needs to be in quarantine, isolation kennel or home quarantine when your pet arrives in the UK.

Mark added that the UK government website said nothing about the different rules in Wales, and Calais has only one reception system. A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are concerned about how effectively the current home isolation process is being monitored and enforced. It is for this reason that we have decided to maintain isolation in authorised facilities as the safest option to protect both.” public health. “

That means Ryta’s beloved pet was moved again last week to a property outside London and is now 170 miles away in an approved cattery in Hertfordshire, where the family has not seen them for three months. For Ryta, it was especially distressing – her mum found Senia under the car and bottle fed the kitten while she was pregnant with her daughter. Ryta never knew life without her.

Ryta has special needs and “her cat is her life,” Mark said, adding that she was “very distressed” to stay away from her pets. The two youngsters have settled at the school in Montgomery and studied online at the Ukrainian school while receiving a Welsh education.

Mark added: “We live on the border and it’s only half a mile from England. Rita will be unhappy for three months if she stays here. Her headteacher at the school says having a cat can make a real difference in life “She thrived in Wales. The Welsh Government puts animal welfare above human health. “

Lena left her husband to fight for her country in Kyiv. They have an app on their phone that notifies them every time the air raid siren goes off in their hometown. It was heartbreaking to watch, Mark said.

He and his wife Su drove to Cologne to meet the family, and they made the journey in a Volkswagen Polo. It was so packed that two of them took public transport from Krakow to Berlin to Cologne and finally to Calais, where they would meet in the city. After waiting almost three weeks for their visas, they arrived in Wales on the Wednesday after Easter, with Sue driving the polo and Anna and Mark with the others.

But when they were about to take the ferry from Calais, they were told the Ukrainian pet documents provided by the family were certificates and not passports. The cats needed to test positive for rabies antibodies 30 days after the microchip was implanted before they could enter home quarantine.

They were told the cats would need to be quarantined for five days before being tested for antibodies and then waiting two days. But now, since arriving in Wales, the cat and the family are in trouble: “The cat can’t come to our house and the family is planning to move to England,” Mark said. “It looks crazy.” He said 4 Paws told him they knew of other animals in Conway and Wrexham in the same situation.

It is estimated that more than half of the more than 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees who fled their country in March had pets.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We understand how important people’s pets are to them and we want to do everything we can to ensure people seeking shelter in Wales are reunited with their pets as quickly and safely as possible. We also need to take steps to protect the health of all animals in Wales and welfare, reducing their risk of exposure to diseases such as rabies.

“We are concerned about how to effectively monitor and enforce the current home isolation process. It is for this reason that we have decided to isolate in an authorized facility as the safest option to protect animal and public health.

“We fully recognise the distress this may cause pet owners, especially those who have come to Wales after fleeing atrocities in Ukraine. We will continue to evaluate different options to minimise the time their pets are kept in isolation.”