A toy dog has been smuggled into Great Britain by Dogs Trust to highlight the continued abuse of the Pet Passport Scheme.

Mitzi the stuffed toy dog with her fake passport.

Underage and unvaccinated puppies continue to travel illegally from Eastern Europe to Great Britain, where they are sold online by commercial dealers and breeders, according to the charity.

Influx of illegal puppies

To highlight the problem, volunteers “smuggled” a stuffed toy dog in a carry crate from Europe on to British soil on multiple occasions, without any enforcer identifying it as fake.

The influx of illegally landed puppies from Eastern Europe was first highlighted by the charity in November 2014 following a relaxation of the Pet Travel Scheme in 2012.

Suspicions voiced

The findings were presented to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which heralded planned changes to the Pet Travel Scheme (which came into force at the end of 2014) as the solution. At the time Dogs Trust voiced its suspicions that the changes would be ineffective and has now claimed the findings of its latest investigation have proven this to be correct.

Dogs Trust has also gathered evidence of corruption from vets and breeders in Lithuania and Romania, and also looked at the ease in which commercial transporters can illegally bring puppies into Great Britain under a scheme designed for pet owners.

‘Hugely disappointed’

Dogs Trust veterinary director Paula Boyden said: “Dogs Trust has twice now presented Defra with evidence of the illegal puppy trade, both from those smuggling puppies and those exploiting the Pet Travel Scheme for profit. We have provided detailed recommendations, which, if implemented, would act as a great step forward in curbing the problem.

“We are hugely disappointed with Defra’s response. As our evidence demonstrates, the Pet Travel Scheme amendments in December 2014 have been ineffective, we urge all the appropriate agencies to take the findings of our two investigations seriously.

Big implications

“The implications of the puppy smuggling trade are huge; for consumers who are being duped and the puppies that suffer horribly, plus the risk of disease that is kicking at our shores.

“We need a joined up approach and Government support – it cannot be left to animal welfare charities and concerned individuals to fight the puppy smuggling scandal alone.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

Jordan Sinclair reveals what she learned after spending a couple of days with the ophthalmology service at the University of Glasgow Small Animal Hospital.

8 mins

The final part of Bayer Animal Health's series of “back to basics” educational videos on canine ophthalmology has been released.

2 mins

Cat-only clinics are to be trialled at a veterinary practice in the north-east of England in a bid to reduce patient and client stress during routine check ups and treatment.

3 mins

Having previously discussed the components of a fluid therapy plan, Gerardo Poli looks at maintenance rates and crystalloid use.

3 mins

Royal Canin’s veterinary support manager, Katy Smith, steps into the Examination Room.

9 mins

Lotfi El Bahri discusses how this low-cost medication can be dangerous for small animals and how to spot signs of intoxication.

13 mins