I have joined with the Dogs Trust charity to call for a strengthening of legislation to bring an end to puppy smuggling.
The Dogs Trust has undertaken four years of continuous investigations into puppy smuggling and this year saw their team of researchers visit Hungary. Since the changes to the Pet Travel Scheme in 2012, puppies from Hungary have made up a significant proportion of the puppies quarantined in Great Britain after being seized at the border for not being compliant with the importation rules. Data from the Dogs Trust Puppy Pilot Scheme shows that since its launch in December 2015 to the end of July 2018, 30% of all puppies intercepted at the UK border originated in Hungary. The Puppy Pilot Scheme takes puppies that are seized and abandoned at the ports through their time in quarantine and onto Dogs Trust’s network of rehoming centres to be responsibly rehomed.
The Dogs Trust has recommended five action points that would help bring an end to puppy smuggling. They are: Read more “Ending Puppy Smuggling”
This week (5th December) Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity – invited a host of MPs and Peers, including myself to its annual House of Commons reception, where the charity – who coined the famous slogan – ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ asked MPs for their support in the fight against Puppy Smuggling.
Dogs Trust has been investigating the problem since 2014, and through three undercover investigations has found that unscrupulous breeders take advantage of, and profit from issues with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). As a result, underage puppies are being illegally imported into Great Britain from Central and Eastern Europe, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public.
Over the last few months, nearly 100 dogs were seized by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the borders, as dealers take advantage of the increased demand for puppies in the run up to Christmas. Dogs Trust has found that of the puppies who do survive the appalling conditions they are forced to travel in, many require emergency treatment – with dehydration and malnutrition among the horrific conditions they suffer from as a result of travelling for thousands of miles in cramped conditions, with no food or water.
Thanks to quick intervention and expert care from the Puppy Pilot scheme, Dogs Trust has been able to save 94% of the puppies coming into care. 6% sadly passed away. Dogs Trust has also seen examples of heavily pregnant dogs coming into Great Britain, showing that breeders are stooping even lower to flout the system, with no regard for the welfare of the mum or her puppies.
Dogs Trust has warned that although there is a rise in puppies illegally imported during the festive season, illegally imported puppies is a huge issue all year round. The organisation has issued advice to help anyone thinking of buying a puppy, to know what to look for, in a bid to stop buyers unwittingly fuelling the trade. The charity has also issued a plea to anyone thinking of getting a dog, to do their research or consider rehoming instead. Read more “Supporting Dogs Trust anti-puppy smuggling campaign”