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New blue passport is just for pets.

EUROPE'S pet passport was unveiled yesterday - a document all cats, dogs and ferrets will have to carry as they travel across EU borders from next summer.

The European Commission has been working for months on the design of the EU-wide passport.

It measures 100x152mm (3.93inx5.98in) and has a blue cover and the yellow stars of the European Union flag.

The passport, issued by vets, provides proof that the animal travelling between member states has been vaccinated against rabies.

Pets travelling to Ireland, the UK and Sweden will have to have additional rabies checks before qualifying for free passage with a wave of the passport.

The EU's health and consumer protection commissioner, David Byrne, said the arrival of the single passport - required from July 3, 2004 - would simplify procedures and was "great news" for pet owners, himself included.

"A pet passport will be accepted throughout the EU as proof that a pet has received that anti-rabies vaccination. It also makes it easier for vets to learn about the pet's medical history."k
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 28, 2003
Words:173
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