Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian invasion will be able to bring their pets into the UK
Ukrainian refugees will be able to bring their pets into the UK, ITV News has been told.
With the government "covering the costs of quarantine," a statement said: "We recognise that many Ukrainian individuals will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pets".
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told ITV News those arriving with pets will need to first contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency, who will confirm approval and organise necessary a quarantine stay if animals are required to complete a rabies treatment process.
The UK has been rabies free for years and the government wants it to stay that way.
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"The maximum stay in quarantine for a pet which has received no rabies treatment is four months. Pets will be considered case by case, and those which have already received some treatment would spend less time in quarantine," the statement said.
Photographs from the Ukrainian border have shown desperate Ukrainians carrying what they can as they flee the Russian invasion.
Many have brought cats, dogs, and other pets with them in their arms as they flee to safety.
On Sunday the government announced that Britons offering homes to Ukrainian refugees through a new humanitarian route will receive a “thank you” payment of £350 per month.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme, to be rolled out this week, will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring people fleeing the war to safety - even if they have no ties to the UK.
The plan has been met with scepticism, however, by some critics with Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, saying: "This programme falls short of enabling any Ukrainian, particularly the most vulnerable such as children who are alone, to seek safety in the UK and access the full support they urgently need.