|BRUSSELS - Owners will be able to take their cats, dogs and ferrets on holiday abroad this summer even if they do not have a pet passport as required under EU law, the European Commission said Wednesday.|
From July 3, animal owners were supposed to carry a pet passport when crossing European Union borders, replacing a veterinary certificate that showed the animal had been vaccinated against rabies.
But many governments in the 25-nation bloc had failed to provide enough passports for their vets to issue -- sparking fears among animal owners that their pets would not be allowed to travel this summer.
The new deadline for the law to apply has been postponed until October 1, the EU executive said. Vet certificates will continue to be used until then.
\"Pet owners should not suffer because national authorities fail to implement commonly agreed legislation in a timely manner,\" EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne said in a statement.
The law agreed last year cuts red tape for people traveling with pets. Ireland, Britain and Sweden were allowed to maintain tougher rules to keep their countries rabies-free.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE