Thursday, April 12, 2007

Britain's Insane Rabies Law Being Reviewed

The UK government's chief vet and chief scientific adviser have told BBC News that current rabies controls in Britain are overly restrictive. It is not that long ago that fears of rabies arriving in the UK meant that dogs travelling back from Europe had to be kept in quarantine. Now the Pet Travel Scheme allows owners to vaccinate their dogs and confirm it with a blood test six months before travel. Most animal welfare groups agree the current system is too severe. But Chris Lawrence of the Dogs Trust believes that it would be wrong to bring the waiting time down to 21 days after vaccination. "Rabies is prevalent in Poland, Eastern Europe and many accession countries and by harmonising our regulations, [we] would increase the risk of rabies arriving in the UK," he said. "A three-month waiting period is supported by the science - and separate blood tests should continue to be required because one can't be completely sure of all vaccine stocks."

This mess is really just a way for a group of business people to make profits by keeping ridiculous regulations on the books. If the regulations are repealed, then they go out of business.

If you have to wait weeks or months before a dog can enter the country, then that dog is going to have to be kept in quarantine in another country until that time has elapsed. Science should prevail here, not this kind of thing. I am all for public safety, but some things are not risky enough to be bothered with. For example, yes, the earth could some day be hit by a huge meteor... but, is it worth creating a manned space station orbiting the moon just in case we have to evacuate the planet? No. Similarly, if the risk of an epidemic is ridiculously low, then why put in such stringent regulations?

Follow the money...

Another example of why I support limited government. Regulations are oftentimes just ways of creating protected monopolies, and undeserved profits, for certain types of businesses. This is NOT free enterprise in action. These laws are inhumane, irrational, and cruel to both dogs and dog owners. They are also ridiculously expensive.

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