Quarantine laws challenged

The legality of the UK's animal quarantine laws are being probed by the High Court. Judgment has been reserved in a case in which the laws have been challenged as breaching EU provisions aimed at allowing people from EU states to travel freely with their belongings. Mr Justice Owen is being asked to rule that the refusal to allow a Swedish businessman to bring his cat into the UK is unlawful. Nick Brown, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), has already accepted that the quarantine rules cannot remain and they are scheduled to be phased out in April 2001 when a vaccination passport system will be introduced. However, it was argued in the High Court that the Government is dragging its feet in introducing the new system.