LETTER : Quarantine dogs short of exercise

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The Independent Online
Sir: Brendan Halpin's contribution to the quarantine debate (letter, 3 January) must be challenged for his bland assumption that dogs in quarantine receive regular exercise. As a vet, he should know that many dogs are not allowed outside their kennel and individual run, many of which are totally enclosed without a view of another dog, and hence are without the incentive to run up and down.

My own dog, who came with me from Hong Kong several years ago, was visited by me for four hours every day of his six months in the "slammer", as Chris Patten so trenchantly describes it. His was one of the better establishments - some I inspected were appalling - and yet the kennel maids never had time to play with any of the inmates: they were too busy cleaning out and preparing food. It's no life for a healthy, active dog.


Settle, North Yorkshire