Memorandum by the Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1999 (S.I. 1999/3443)
1. The Committee asked
refers to "all three certificates" required by the Order.
Two are required by article 7(1). Identify the third certificate
and the certificates indicated by "all health certificates"
in article 10(3).
2. Article 7 requires a person
importing a pet animal under the scheme to have three separate
documents. These are a certificate concerning rabies, issued by
an official veterinary surgeon of the issuing country; a certificate
concerning ticks and tapeworm, signed by a veterinary surgeon
entitled to practice medicine in the country in which the treatment
for ticks and tapeworm was administered; and a declaration by
the importer that the animal has not been outside the permitted
countries and territories in the six months preceding the importation.
These are the "three certificates" referred to in article
9(1) of the Order. The first two certify that vaccination and
treatment have taken place, and the third, although described
in article 7 as a declaration, is in effect a certificate that
the animal has not been outside the permitted territories. The
Ministry therefore submits that the reference in article 9 is
3. In article 10(3) the Order
refers to "all health certificates". This is intended
to cover all three certificates, and the Ministry accepts that
the wording used is unfortunate. It is based on the premise that
the certificates concerning rabies, ticks and tapeworm are "official
health certificates" (which is how they are described in
article 7(2)) and that the declaration on residency is also a
health certificate, in that it relates to, and is central to assessing,
the health status of the animal.
4. The reason for requiring
the third certificate (and the reason that the Ministry considers
it to be a health certificate) is that the health status of an
animal which has not been outside the permitted countries (which
are relatively free of rabies) is higher than the health status
of an animal which has been outside these countries, where there
is a greater likelihood that the animal would have come into contact
with an animal infected with rabies. As all three certificates
are essentially concerned with the health status of the animal,
the phrase "all health certificates required under this Order"
was used. However, the Ministry accepts that it is possible to
argue that the phrase refers only to the certificates on rabies,
ticks and tapeworm, which is not the case.
5. The Ministry submits that
the phrase is not inaccurate, but accepts that it is possible
for it to be misconstrued. Accordingly the Ministry will use a
different way of describing the certificates if, at the end of
the pilot scheme, it is decided to adopt a similar certification
system for the main scheme. Otherwise, the Ministry will amend
the phrase if the opportunity arises.
28 January 2000