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No Fear No Favour

Indian couples’ pet cat held by customs; told to send it back to Jeddah

Do you know about routes recognised for pets? Well, an exotic cat species was detained at the International Airport in Kochi as it was not the recommended route for it to travel, a top Customs official informed PTI on Sunday.

On March 2, an Indian couple travelling from Jeddah on Saudia Airlines had brought the cat along with them. The animal was seized and detained by the Customs sleuths as it was not a recognised route for importing pets, Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said in Kochi.

The official said Saudia Airlines was asked to send the cat back to Jeddah as the couple had not carried documents necessary for bringing a pet to India. “Import of pets is only allowed after production of required health certificate from the country of origin and examination by our animal quarantine office,” he said. Besides, Kochi International Airport is not a route for bringing pets as it does not have a quarantine facility, the official said.

“Import of pets is allowed only at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad Airports which have animal quarantine facility,” Kumar said. The seizure was subject to adjudication, payment of fine and penalty, he added.

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