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IKC lifts foot and mouth restrictions

THE BAN on dogs from the UK mainland and Northern Ireland from entering shows in Ireland due to Foot and Mouth Disease will be lifted from January 1st 2002.

The Irish Kennel Club imposed the restrictions after consultation with the Irish Department of Agriculture in late February of this year, when the extent of the FMD outbreak became clear in the UK. This led to the cancellation of the IKC's prestigious St Patrick's Day Show in mid March, but was seen as a small price to pay to contain the possible spread of FMD via dogs and exhibitors entering the country from the UK mainland where FMD was widespread.

The Department of Agriculture relaxed its own restrictions on dogs and cats entering the Republic of Ireland from the UK mainland in the Autumn, when the FMD crisis had abated, but this relaxation was interpreted by the IKC as holding good for individual animals, whereas large numbers of dogs descending on one area for a given show would be another matter entirely.

According to an IKC spokesman, the IKC's Committee decided to lift their own restrictions a little later than the Dept. of Agriculture had, and to allow dogs form the UK mainland to compete at all IKC events again from January 1st 2002.

Sadly, this means that many UK based exhibitors who wanted to enter the Dublin Dog Show Society's Christmas Show on December 27th this year will be disappointed although, according to the IKC spokesman, all UK exhibitors would be welcomed once again to all shows from January 1st. 2002.