An MP has referred pet travel restrictions between Northern Ireland and Great Britain to the Equality Commission over fears they are discriminatory, especially for people with sight loss.
DUP South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron has asked the commission to examine whether requirements placed on pets, including guide dogs, travelling between the two countries under the Brexit Protocol amounts to disability discrimination.
She said: “With new vaccinations and more paperwork required for pets entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, the Protocol will have a profound effect on adults, children and young people with sight loss not just in our Province but across the United Kingdom.
“In the last 10 years around 250 puppies have been trained to become assistance dogs in Northern Ireland through the Guide Dog National Breeding Centre in England. As a result of the new arrangements this supply has been suspended as pups would in practice be unable to arrive in NI until they are around 15 weeks old – well past the optimal point for their development.
“Current guide dog owners are also disadvantaged in that they would have to undergo this added burden even if only visiting friends or family in GB for a few days becoming returning home.
“This disruption is completely unacceptable.”