Sunday, 11 August 2013

Home - Without Hassle ...

We arrived home again on Wednesday night, tired, glad to be home, but having enjoyed our holiday. Despite the Monk anticipating problems with the return flight from London, there were none. In fact, it was ridiculously simple and straightforward. Harry's place was booked, as planned, his 'check-in' was smooth, friendly and entirely without hitch of any sort, and the handling staff at Terminal 1 fussed over him (and we suspect fed him the odd 'treat') and took great care to ensure his loading into the aircraft was without problems.

No one showed any interest in his "Pet Passport" at the Check-in, the only interest shown was by airport security who did a check to make sure we weren't smuggling drugs or explosives in his travel box. Likewise, at Frankfurt, he was delivered to the Baggage Reclaim Hall for our collection, and noone asked to see his "Pet Passport" - despite being told at Heathrow that we would have to produce it  in Frankfurt. Judging by the response at this end, the consensus seems to be that the UK DEFRA crew are just being awkward for the sake of trying to make it so difficult to take your pet anywhere, you won't, even though you are in compliance with the law. That doesn't surprise me at all.

I'd have some sympathy with what they claim to be trying to achieve if it were true - but it isn't. Britain has a number of animal health problems DEFRA claim it doesn't have, but, as with most of Whitehall, simply not collecting data on something means, in their minds, that it doesn't exist. So reports of rabid bats and foxes in Kent are figments of the Media. Unfortunately for DEFRA, one day, some of the Vets currently having to keep quiet about this will get fed up with it. In the meantime, if we visit the UK again with Harry, we will do so by a simpler and less expensive route.

In the meantime, judging by Harry's reaction to having the freedom of his own garden, and the walks in the forest around us, his toy box, and all his "own" things to muster, he's glad to be home again. The trip has given us a number of ideas about future holidays as well and the Monk is reluctantly considering acquiring a Grockle Pod at some future point ...

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