Puppy Smuggling In The UK
The Dogs Trust has been carrying out an investigation into illegal puppy smuggling into the UK. Since the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) was changed in 2012 and rules related to quarantine were relaxed, some breeders have taken advantage and smuggled puppies into the country. They use falsified documents and in many cases, don’t bother vaccinating dogs before they are sent to the UK.
Puppies are kept in appalling conditions and made to travel when they are far too young. This puts their well being at risk and also means that dogs with diseases could be brought into the UK.
The Dogs Trust decided to do their own experiment, and smuggled a toy dog into Britain in a carry cate on several different occasions. No one identified it as a fake. They also managed to get eight passports from seven different vets in Lithuania who falsified data. This would have allowed vulnerable puppies under 15 weeks to be brought into Britain.
Puppy smuggling is becoming a huge problem and it’s very lucrative for those involved. These awful people make thousands of pounds from smuggling pups into Britain. The people who buy these pups often have no idea that they are foreign or what sort of trauma they have been through.
It’s not until they take their pup to the vet and a foreign microchip is picked up. It’s so important to make sure you buy from a responsible breeder, and people in the UK need to be better educated on being able to spot a bad breeder. Click here for a useful resource on what to look for when buying a puppy.
The Dogs Trust called for action from the government to tighten rules on pets entering Britain. Consequently, changes were made to PETS which came into force in December 2014. However, as problems are still being identified, The Dogs Trust quite rightly feel that more needs to be done about puppy smuggling in the UK and other issues. Below is what The Dogs Trust think needs to be done:
‘An immediate Government action plan to address these concerns, including banning puppies under the age of 6 months from entering the UK.’
‘A cross agency database together with full training given to relevant authorities.’
‘A crackdown on vets who falsify or supply fake pet passports within the countries that import puppies into the UK.’
‘A fixed penalty charge for those caught illegally bringing dogs into the UK.’