THE lamentable animal transport tale revealed by the Olive Press fills my heart with despair – despair because we have been here before.

I pity the poor woman who lost €300, for she is just Jeremy Griffith’s latest victim, as your coverage since 2013 attests.

READ MORE: Facebook recommendation loses British woman €550 after claims pet transport operator operating ‘without licences’ on Spain’s Costa del Sol

Please warn you readers once again: the transport of pets UK-Spain is a highly specialised service, something NOT to be trusted to just any ‘man-with-van’ purporting to be ‘licensed, able and experienced’ just because they claim such on social media.

Live animal transport is a ‘protected profession’ in law. 

To procure or conduct without is a criminal act – so be especially aware of removals companies offering to ‘take your pet’ too.

Live animals are NOT freight. The rules are for their protection – not ours.

As one of the very few, real, Authorised Transporters (Type-2) [Other Species -ie: pet-type animals] operating under EU, Spanish and UK domestic law, I can advise all pet owners to follow these rules when seeking pet transport, be it domestic or international:

1. Do not rely on social media recommendations. In Spain, speak to your local Oficina Comarcal Agraria (OCA) office – of the Spanish agriculture ministry – who can confirm the legality of Spain-registered business.

Most OCA offices speak English, but if you prefer call Defra/APHA’s Welfare-In-Transport (WIT) desk in Carlisle. They are happy to validate all claims concerning British-registered businesses, including those from this letter’s author.

2. Demand to see a hard copy of the provider’s Transporter Authorisation – it’s an A4-sized paper document recognised throughout Europe.

Real transporters always post at least their Type-2 numbers on their website (UK businesses only).

3. Check the number of any licence with the issuing authority. If no validation, then walk away.

And, by the way, the movement of rescue/rehome dogs and cats is even more specialised. 

For example, they cannot travel with a Pet Passport alone. 

Again, the advice is: check with the professionals…always!

Dan Coughlan

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