Preparing for Arrival of Pets from Ukraine
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries is actively working to provide a facility to make it possible to quarantine the pets of refugees coming from Ukraine, Morgunblaðið reports. According to the Ministry, the State will likely carry the cost of such a quarantine facility. Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir decided to provide an exemption to a ban on the importation of pets from Ukraine, as long as certain conditions were met, enabling refugees to bring their pets with them.
“A special quarantine facility is needed for these animals,” states Hrund Hólm, veterinarian at MAST, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. The reason is that pets from Ukraine have not gone through the same preparatory procedures as is the custom for pets imported to Iceland. Two potential facilities have been discussed: one at Hafnir, on the Reykjanes peninsula, and the other one near Hella, South Iceland.
The pets will need to quarantine for a longer period of time than is the custom, or up to four months, according to Morgunblaðið . Iceland is a country free of rabies, while the disease exists in Ukraine. Pets need to be vaccinated for the disease, after which a waiting period follows, since the incubation period of rabies is typically two to three months. Iceland is a country with relatively few animal diseases, making the need for strict rules essential when it comes to the importation of pets.
MAST as received numerous inquiries regarding the importation of dogs and cats from Ukraine, but it does not have information about how many pets can be expected to arrive.