A number of constituents have emailed me about their concerns with puppies being smuggled across borders.
Given the number of emails, I felt it best to share with my constituents my response.
I share your concern about this crime and am grateful to Dogs Trust for highlighting the issue- responsibility for stopping illegal movement begins in the country where puppies are born, so the Chief Veterinary Officer will be writing to the authorities in highlighted countries to remind them of their duties.
As many of you will know, the EU pet travel regulation introduced in 2014 has strengthened enforcement, as the new-style passport is harder to forge and new rules apply when more than 5 animals are moved together and all EU countries must carry out compliance checks.
Government advice to prospective owners is very clear: people who buy a pet are responsible for knowing where it comes from and, if it is found to have been imported illegally, they will be held responsible for any necessary quarantines and veterinary fees.