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Export of a Dog to South Africa – case scenario

01 April 2016, at 12:00am

This case-based scenario considers the export of a dog to the Republic of South Africa and asks a number of questions.

Date - 1st June 2015

An OV is presented with a Labrador called ‘Bailey’ by his mother, who intends to export the dog to South Africa on the 28th June 2015. 

The OV has phoned CIT in advance to request a specimen Export Health Certificate and Notes for Guidance but has not yet read the paperwork.

The Republic of South Africa (RSA) has strict health requirements and usually requires an import permit.

The OV takes some blood samples from the dog and sends to them to APHA laboratory in Weybridge.

The dog was vaccinated against rabies in October 2014 as it travels regularly to France. 

The OV instructs his client to request import conditions from the authorities in RSA either via the South African embassy in London or by contacting the authorities in the destination country directly. 

Date - 9th June 2015 (one week later)

RSA paperwork received by the client includes the model EHC and information about the import requirements.

RSA paperwork and APHA paperwork = a lot of paperwork!

Reassuringly the requirements supplied by APHA and RSA match! However the OV realises that the dog should have been treated with Ivermectin on 1st June, being the date of the negative blood test.

The OV phones CIT to ask if the dog could be treated now with Ivermectin as it’s not long since the blood sample.  CIT explain that it’s the country of destination that determines the import health requirements.

The client leaves and has to phone the RSA authorities again to see if they will allow the dog in when it has not fulfilled the requirements of the paperwork.

The OV now sets aside time to sit down and read all of the paperwork as he now realises he should have done in the first place!  

This includes the export health certificate, (EHC), notes for guidance, (NFG), and the import permit. 

He subsequently has to repeat the blood samples, treats the dog as required with Ivermectin and takes a blood smear from the ear margin.

He checks the passport and microchip for the dog’s return to the UK.

Date - 23rd June 2015

The blood results have come back all clear.

The client submits the original export health paperwork for completion.  The OV re-examines the dog within the required time frame (the certificate unusually requires examination within 10 days)

Question 1 

Do you perceive that the OV has a conflict of interest in this case-scenario?

Question 2 

Would there be a conflict of interest with a veterinary assistant from the same practice signing the export health certificate?

Question 3 

The OV also realised that he hadn’t taken a blood smear from the ear margin at the first appointment.  What should he have done?

Question 4 

The OV notices a few flea droppings on the dog during the examination. Is this an issue?

Question 5 

The OV enters the incorrect microchip number on the export health certificate.  What are his options?

Question 6 

The OV receives a piece of paperwork from CIT – the 618NDC.  Does this go with Bailey to RSA?

Question 7 

The OV picks up a heart murmur at the clinical examination.  Can Bailey still travel to RSA?

Now check your answers below:

Answer 1 

Yes, there is a clear conflict of interest in this case and the OV should not complete the EHC.

Answer 2 

No, as long as the veterinary assistant is happy with the clinical records.

Answer 3 

He should phone the RSA authorities to ask what he should do in this situation. RSA may waive the requirement in writing.

Answer 4 

Yes.  The EHC specifically mentions freedom from infectious and contagious diseases and since fleas are contagious the dog will require a flea treatment and re-examination before travelling.

Answer 5 

Cross out the erroneous number, insert the new one using any colour other than black, and stamp in the margin with his official OV stamp and add his initials, also in any colour other than black.

Answer 6 

No. The 618NDC is for the OV and allows him/her to sign the relevant section of the EHC.

Answer 7 

This is up to the OV’s professional opinion.