TWO angry pet-owners are battling with Brittany Ferries after their dogs were barred from sailing to the UK.
Dog owners Tricia Watson, 51, and Mandy Willmott, 46, are furious that pet passports used to travel to Spain were declared invalid at Bilbao for their return trips.
Travelling on the same boat, Nerja homeowner Watson and former expat Wilmott found themselves in the same predicament when port check-in staff sent them to a local vet to ‘sort the problem’.
They each incurred over €140 of expenses before they could sail and believe suspicious business is afoot between port staff and local vets.
“My dog Pedro travelled to the UK six months ago through a rigorously checked, DEFRA-approved courier with no problems,” Willmott told the Olive Press.
“So why was there a problem this time? I guess when you travel as an individual people can take advantage.”
The Isle of Wight resident, who got her pet from the Axarquia Animal Rescue centre, continued: “First the port staff said I needed some sort of stamp, next the vet’s telling me I needed a totally new passport – they were simply inventing problems,” Wilmott continued.
“It cost me €142 when it normally costs under €20. It was complete robbery.”
Meanwhile Watson had to take a taxi to the vet to solve a ‘microchipping problem’ which cost her €180 in total and was later declared ‘unnecessary’ by her UK vet.
“I feel I have been treated very badly and taken advantage of,” she said.
Despite the women complaining to Brittany Ferries on the same day, customer services rejected each complaint saying it was an ‘isolated incident’.
A spokesman for Brittany Ferries said ‘there is no conspiracy here, both pet passports were genuine fails and the checks are much tougher getting into the UK than leaving it’.