Puppy Smuggling

As a loving owner of a cocker spaniel, I understand your concerns for the welfare of animals and I take the issue of puppy imports very seriously.

I am aware of the issues regarding puppy imports and age verification, and I support the Government’s ongoing commitment to reviewing the existing guidelines with help of organisations such as Dogs Trust. I know that all pet animals entering Great Britain on approved routes under the EU Pet Travel Scheme undergo documentary and identity checks. The checks are performed by ferry, train or airline carriers or agents acting on their behalf. I am aware that the Animal and Plant Health Agency undertakes random checks of the pet animals travelling to ensure the carriers are performing their duties to the required standard. Such checks ensure that pets arriving in the UK are at an appropriate age and have taken the required precautions. 

I am encouraged that the Animal and Plant Health Agency works with the Border Force and other operational partners at ports, airports and inland, sharing intelligence to enforce the Pet Travel Scheme, disrupt illegal imports and seize non-compliant animals. I am able to tell you that 1,344 dogs were quarantined after being illegally landed in Great Britain between 2016 and 2018. This includes those that were imported under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, as well as those imported commercially under the Balai Directive.

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