Chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens
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Quarantine changes pose no rabies risk, says chief vet

29 December 2011 Last updated at 09:26 GMT

The UK's animal quarantine laws are to be relaxed from the start of January, in line with European legislation.

Currently, any dog, cat or ferret entering the UK must be vaccinated against and blood tested for the disease before being quarantined for six months.

But from January, pets from the EU and listed non-EU countries such as the US and Australia will no longer need a blood test and will only have to wait 21 days before they travel.

But some animal welfare groups claim the changes could expose Britain to an increased risk of rabies, a claim denied by the chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens.