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Old 13-11-2013, 13:58   #1
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Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Hello! We will be leaving the U.S. to begin cruising the Virgin Islands in April from St. John, USVI. We had planned to spend some significant time in St. Vincent & Grenadines but will be traveling with our 8 pound chihuahua dog. If I am reading the customs information correctly, he will not be permitted on land even with micro chip, health certificate, rabies certificate, vaccination record, etc. because he originates from the U.S. and has not been quaratined in the UK for 6 months prior. Is that correct? We are willing to pay for any and all tests, cetrificates, vet visits, etc. he would need.

I searched the forums but the only information I found was dated and quite conflicting. I have sent emaisl to the tourism board and animal health services in the area but have not heard back yet.

Thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide!
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Old 13-11-2013, 14:36   #2
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

We talked with a cruiser in Admiralty Bay on Bequia (part of St Vincent and the Grenadines) who told us that a customs agent had come up to him while he was walking his dog on the beach and told him that the next time he saw his dog on shore he would shoot it.

It's illegal to bring any pet ashore there without going through a long, complicated and fairly expensive series of innoculations, lab tests, medical evaluations and quarantine.

We had to do all this to legally bring our cat into Nevis, where we lived for six years. Not all islands are this demanding--just the rabies-free islands.
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Old 13-11-2013, 14:55   #3
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Thank you for your reply. I have heard similar horror stories...and worse!...which is why I'm trying to figure out how to go about it legally. You said it is a long expensive process which stinks but I'm willing to do it for my little guy. Can you point me in the direction of how I understand that process? I checked the Noonsite website and it didn't give info like it does for other areas and pretty much leads you to believe he can't come at all.
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Old 14-11-2013, 04:46   #4
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

A little Googling brought up the SVG reqts for pets...

Pet Regulations : Discover St Vincent And The Grenadines

http://www.discoversvg.com/images/do...ON_OF_DOGS.pdf

It looks like SVG is even more restrictive than Nevis was. My take from reading the requirements is that you'll have to send the dog to Great Britain for six months of quarantine and a health certificate before it will be allowed into SVG.

You won't have any issues with any of the islands in the eastern Caribbean if the dog stays onboard at all times. You will have to declare your pet when you clear in, and state this on the clearance papers. We visited practically all of the islands there with a cat onboard, and never had any problems.

When we moved to Nevis to live back in 2006, we had to update the cat's rabies shots, wait for a specified period of time, send a blood sample to the University of Kansas for a titer test which had to be done within a strict time window, get a vet's certificate, and then get a health certificate from the US Department of Agriculture within 24 hours of departing the US for Nevis. Having previously coordinated with the Nevis government veterinary officer, we waited in quarantine at the Nevis airport (for two hours) for her to show up. She examined the cat. We then had to quarantine the cat for six weeks in our house with weekly examinations on site by the vet. It was a very laborous, time-consuming and expensive process, to say the least. It looks like SVG doesn't even allow this process.

If I were you, I'd buy a square of Astroturf and train doggy to use it as a latrine so going ashore isn't a necessity.

The islands that have rabies present will allow pets to come ashore. Martinique is one.
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Old 14-11-2013, 04:56   #5
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

We declared our dog in SVG in 2011, offered up the papers but they were not interested in seeing the certificates. Of course that was then and this is now and you will not have the same official. And even if you did, he might be in a different mood when you arrive.

So, if you take an animal along, you have to be clear in your mental preparations that you must be flexible in your attitude to rules and that sometimes the animal can't go ashore for a month or two. Get the paperwork ready, train the animal properly and then wing it as you go.
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Old 14-11-2013, 10:08   #6
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Hud3 - Yep, the info you provided is what I was seeing as well. Defintiely goign to turf train him but hoping the little guy ins't trapped onthe boat for a few months.

Jimbo- Thanks for the info! This is exactly what I am seeing in other blogs, forums, etc. The verdict seems to be that I should get him fully prepped with all certificates, titer test, etc and have full records with me, declare him and cross my fingers. Hope for the best, prep for the worst. Overall, it seems that most officials dont' care about cats or small dogs (ours is a tiny 8 pounds) but seem to get concerned abotu the bigger ones.

Going to contemplate leaving him behind with family as well (although we really don't want to) but it remains an option. For now, I think we are going to get him ready and hope for the best.
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Old 14-11-2013, 11:09   #7
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Simplerlife,

They care about every dog...including your's

While estimates vary, up to 55,000 people die worldwide each year of rabies and 97% are caused by dog bites. The elimination of rabies in British jurisdictions was due to a massive public health program at the same time, beginning of the 19th century, as similar programs drastically reduced and eliminated TB, cholera, malaria, yellow fever etc.

The US has chosen the route of immunization of dogs, the UK chose to eradicate suspect/stray dog and prevent the reintroduction of the disease by keeping dogs out or insisting on a 6 month quarantine.

The reason the US system works is because the US spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year on rabies prevention and has the world's best Center for Disease Control which cuts the head off a suspect dog to determine if the bitten patient needs to go through a $5,000 treatment of immunogloblin and vaccines.

St Vincent chooses to achieve the same by telling a visitor not to bring their dog.

I have spoken to the officials, in Bequia, about this issue, they are not being bureaucratic but instead they are being very serious about keeping their children safe from rabies

The system that keeps your dog out also means that you can drink the water and not take malarial prophylaxis.

We left our dog with family but I would estimate that 5% of cruisers have a dog and a barking dog is probably better protection than a gun.

Violent attack, Cruisers injured, St Vincent & Grenadines, Union Island

Good luck, but please do follow the rules.
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Old 14-11-2013, 12:08   #8
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

The islands of the Caribbean have spent considerable time and effort to eradicate rabies. It's their country and their choice.
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Old 14-11-2013, 12:17   #9
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

All - Let me be clear that I respect the choice each region has made in keeping their people safe. I do not intend to violate ANY regulation that is in place...not only out of respect for the palce I am visiting but also for fear of the potential impac to my dog (shot, quarantined, etc). I will not be attempting to sneak him to shore or any such things. I have just read many many conflciting stories about what is needed in each place per the information on Noonsite.com and location websites and what actually happened when boaters arrived. I will visit each place with full health records and such for my dog, declare him to customs and if the response is he must stay on board then we WILL be following that regulation (assuming we continue to choose to take him with us).
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Old 14-12-2013, 17:22   #10
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Just to be clear.

Can someone confirm that as long as the animal stays on board, there should be no issues everywhere in the Caribbean?

We have 2 cats, both have been rabies tested and inoculated in preparation for importation to either NZ or Australia. NZ now only has 10 days quarantine if all boxes have been ticked and rumour is that Australia will follow suit next year.

Thanks
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Old 14-12-2013, 18:37   #11
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Re: Small Dog in St. Vincent & Grenadines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neelie View Post
Just to be clear.

Can someone confirm that as long as the animal stays on board, there should be no issues everywhere in the Caribbean?

We have 2 cats, both have been rabies tested and inoculated in preparation for importation to either NZ or Australia. NZ now only has 10 days quarantine if all boxes have been ticked and rumour is that Australia will follow suit next year.

Thanks
Yes. That was our experience with our cat. We visited all of the eastern Caribbean countries except Barbados, Montserrat and Anguilla.
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