Kochi: A couple hailing from Alappuzha and currently settled in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia brought along with them their 'pet cat' when they came for a short vacation on Friday morning were shocked when the customs officials 'seized' and 'detained' the cat as pet import is not permitted at Kochi airport. The couple were misled by the Saudi Airlines by which they had arrived with the pet.
The animal was seized and detained by the Customs sleuths as it was not a recognised route for importing the pets, Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar told PTI in Kochi.
The official said Saudi 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," Mr Kumar said.
The seizure was subject to adjudication, payment of fine and penalty, he added