After a somewhat choppy crossing, Animalcouriers docked at the Italian port of Brindisi rather later than expected, having not boarded our ferry from Igoumenitsa until after 2.00am. It was time to walk the dogs, so we headed for breakfast and a doggy leg stretch at a nice hotel we remembered courier S had stayed at.

From there we drove towards Ancona where we’re spending the night. Our delayed arrival this morning means we haven’t got as far as we would have wished. But the late nights and early starts are taking their toll on couriers J and M, so we’re not sorry to have stopped a bit early this evening.

To meet the TRACES requirements, we notified Defra that we are transporting pets on an intra-trade certificate (ITHAC) and let them know when we expect to be in the UK. We explained that we’re transporting owned dogs, who are following their owners.

Very quickly we received an email reply saying:

“It sounds as if these dogs are PETS

[pet passport scheme] compliant, therefore the ITHAC (health certificate) is not required.”

This was followed up by another email saying: “…an Intra Trade Certificate is not needed as this is not a commercial import. Therefore there is no need to notify your local AHVLA [Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency] office.”

We are delivering these dogs to their owners’ homes so, for us and their owners, the matter is closed.

We are hoping that, as time goes by, it will be easier for people who live in Greece and wish to relocate and take their pets with them to do so without so many hoops to jump through and layers of bureaucracy to overcome.

No ordinary croissant this — stuffed with Nutella and served warm. Food heaven!

No ordinary croissant this — stuffed with Nutella and served warm. Food heaven!

Lisa gets going — we can all sympathise with trying to get slightly stiff joints moving in the morning!

Lisa gets going — we can all sympathise with trying to get slightly stiff joints moving in the morning!

Smiling Romy

Smiling Romy

Pensive Lisa

Pensive Lisa

Lina notices the big anchor, and wonders where the ship is

Lina notices the big anchor, and wonders where the ship is

Romy fancies her 'longest tongue' chances

Romy fancies her ‘longest tongue’ chances

A lovely sunny evening in Ancona — Lisa is gradually losing the loose tufts of her winter coat and starting to look less like a teddy bear and more like the German Shepherd Dog she really is!

A lovely sunny evening in Ancona — Lisa is gradually losing the loose tufts of her winter coat and starting to look less like a teddy bear and more like the German Shepherd Dog she really is!

 Lina drinks in the new scents around her — olive trees and wild flowers

Lina drinks in the new scents around her — olive trees and wild flowers

While Romy was still out walking, cheeky Lina hopped into her compartment when she got back to the van and snaffled her bedtime snacks!

While Romy was still out walking, cheeky Lina hopped into her compartment when she got back to the van and snaffled her bedtime snacks!

Don't worry Romy, we'll give you some more!

Don’t worry Romy, we’ll give you some more!