The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has rejected a would-be pet owner’s application to import an American Staffordshire Terrier to Iceland, RÚV reports. The Ministry of Industries and Innovation confirmed MAST’s decision, on the grounds that it is difficult to distinguish the breed from Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls, both of which are banned in Iceland. But the party who applied to import the animal said that the ‘AmStaff’ has nothing in common with the two banned breeds except common ancestors.
MAST rejected the application earlier this year. The decision was appealed in February, and the ministry agreed that MAST’s grounds for refusal were insufficient. MAST re-reviewed the case and came to the same conclusion in March.
The applicant said that the animal in question is a mix of Staffordshire Terrier, Boxer, and German Shepard. They also noted that similar import exceptions had been made. For instance, MAST allowed an English Bull Terrier to be imported to Iceland. But MAST held firm, saying it rejected two similar import applications in the last four years.
Iceland has very strict protocols for the importation of domestic animals. Per the MAST website, “[i]mporters must apply for an import permit to MAST and the pets must fulfill health requirements (vaccinations and testing) in addition to staying in quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival.” Protocols have loosened somewhat; the quarantine period used to be four weeks, but this was changed in March 2020.