This week I attended an event hosted by Dogs Trust at the House of Commons where the charity called on the government to take urgent action to end the cruel practice of puppy smuggling. At the event there was the opportunity to experience through virtual reality the terrible conditions in which puppies are transported across Central and Eastern Europe to be sold to unsuspecting buyers in the UK.
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has been investigating this problem since 2014 with its reports revealing shocking evidence of the Pet Travel Scheme being exploited by illegal puppy importers. Their fourth report supplies further evidence of corrupt vets in Central and Eastern Europe falsifying documents for underage puppies to be brought into Great Britain; pregnant dogs being smuggled so their puppies can be born in the UK and lax border controls. The charity has long been calling for changes to be made to put a stop to the continued and growing abuse of The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which allows compliant pet animals to travel between EU countries without having to go into quarantine.
Dogs Trust has unveiled a horrendous trade that has been growing over the past few years and we now have the opportunity to make a positive change to stop this practice. I’ve been shocked by the findings of all four of the reports and am pleased to support the case to bring an end to puppy smuggling with the introduction of tighter controls and the need for much stronger penalties to deter this crime.
For more information visit puppysmuggling.org.uk.