Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said earlier this week that it has eased the quarantine process for pets brought by Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the Russian invasion, reports The Mainichi.
The Ministry updated animal entry regulations that had required pets brought by Ukrainian refugees entering Japan to be held in animal quarantine stations for up to 180 days, saying on 18 April that pets can now stay together with their owners once it’s confirmed safe for the animals to enter the country. The move aims to support the lives of Ukrainian refugees by preventing them from being separated from their pets for long periods of time and allowing the animals to live with the evacuees in Japan.
According to Nation Thailand, under the ministry’s special measure pets from Ukraine can be kept outside the quarantine station as long as they are implanted with microchips for identification and are certified to have received two doses of rabies vaccine.
Under the country’s ‘Rabies Prevention Law’, when animals such as dogs or cats are brought into Japan, they must be implanted with microchips and be checked for sufficient rabies antibodies after getting two rabies injections. If they do not have certificates issued by the country of departure to prove that specific measures were taken, the measures and inspections are carried out in Japan at Animal Quarantine Service facilities at or near airports and harbors, and the animals are quarantined for up to 180 days.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, it has been difficult for people to receive such certification in Ukraine, meaning that people entering Japan from Ukraine would likely be separated from their pets for about six months. According to the ministry, five dogs have entered Japan together with Ukrainian refugees so far.
Russia invaded the UK on 24 February 2022. Since then many Ukrainians have fled their home country with many of them taking their pets with them.