Seven pets being transported to the UK from North Cyprus were turned back from Turkey after falling foul of regulations imposed at Tasucu port. The four Families of Dogs set off from the Girne Tourism Harbour last Thursday with the UK-based Animal Couriers company and ended up back on the island after Tasucu port officials refused to clear the animals through customs without their owners.
The UK-based courier firm, which works with Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR) to brings pets in and out of the country on planes, ferries and on land, is now getting help from a Mersin vet to travel tomorrow from Gazi Magosa port to Mersin.
The pet owners may have to travel to Mersin with them. Tasucu port does not have an expert when it comes to pet travel, said Julia Baber of Animal Couriers.
They didnt understand why we were carrying other people's dogs. Also, they have a rule only up to two pets can travel per person. said Ms Baber adding that the port officers did not understand the contract signed with KAR by the pet owners because it was in English.
They dont recognise microchips yet and they wanted photographs. but it is changing she said. We are getting an agent to get clarification from the Turkish Embassy because the rules, according to the Turkish agriculture Ministry. say a pet is not a pet if it is not with its owner.
This trip was the 10th by Animal couriers to take animals from the TRNC to Britain.
The landscape of pet movement is changing in Turkey and the European Union: animals can move more freely and Turkey is reviewing its policy on this. said Ms Barber. They are now getting help from Mersin Veterinary practice Petical to get permission from a chief vet and obtain an export licence.
Once they are given the goahead they aim to travel from Gazi Magosa tomorrow evening to Mersin before continuing the journey to England by van via Bodrum Kos and Athens.
Bob and Lynn Buckle, owners of Cookie the Cyprus terrier and crossbreed Purdey, who were among the group, are waiting for the trip to be sorted before they book flights to the UK, where they will move back to Essex after nine years in the TRNC. Kar and Animal couriers have done everything they can. We are waiting to see what will happen said Mr Buckle.
Ms Baber advised TRNC pet owners thinking of taking their animals to Britian to call KAR's Pet Travel Department on 0533 869 4098 or contact the courier firm via their website www.animalcouriers.com