To some they are vermin, to others they are faithful companions, but either way, mice and rats are to be given full European citizenship, complete with passports to allow them to travel abroad.
Pet passports, until now the preserve of cats and dogs, are to be extended to mice, rats, chinchillas, rabbits and guinea pigs living in the EU, exempting them from quarantine.
European governments – with United Kingdom backing – decided at a meeting last week that millions of rodents should not be discriminated against. The decision is to be finalised by European agriculture ministers next month and legislation is expected by the end of the year.
Brian Cookson, of the National Mouse Club, who keeps about 100 mice in his garage, said he was pleased that owners of "fancy mice" would have a chance to show them on the Continent. Ferrets, however, were refused a place on the scheme because of rabies fears.Reuse content