Pets and owners who find themselves affected by natural disasters, political unrest or other extreme circumstances will be pleased to hear that the EU is to allow animals to travel throughout the region without a passport.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, even animals who have not received the necessary pet medications and vaccinations will be allowed to pass between borders if their situation is deemed to be dire enough.
This means that owners who are forced to relocate will now be able to take their pets with them, even if they are not protected from diseases such as rabies or parasites like tapeworm.
Current EU laws state that cats and dogs must be issued with a passport confirming their receipt of treatment against these conditions, although the rule change could allow some animals to forego these requirements in particularly extreme cases.
Pets will still have to travel in quarantine, although the new legislation should make the process of transporting an animal significantly easier.