Steve McCabe MP helps charity raise awareness of puppy smuggling plight

Steve McCabe MP has joined the Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity to take the opportunity to highlight the UK’s growing puppy smuggling problem.


Following its initial report into puppy smuggling in November 2014, this year Dogs Trust conducted its second in-depth investigative report focused on the puppies travelling illegally into Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Dogs Trust found substantial evidence that underage puppies are still regularly entering the country on false documentation and are subsequently sold to unsuspecting consumers.


Despite recent changes to the PETS designed to strengthen the scheme, the report found evidence of:


·         Ineffective border controls and enforcement of PETS at British ports, with no requirement on enforcers to carry out even a basic sight check on the animal being imported

·         Dogs Trust managed to transport a stuffed toy with a pet passport three times without anyone noticing the dog was not alive

·         Breeders and dealers from Lithuania and Romania using the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) for the commercial importation of puppies to Great Britain, it is just for owned pets

·         Breeders and dealers from Lithuania and Romania supplying young puppies under 12 weeks of age – the legal age at which puppies can be vaccinated against rabies – with dates of birth simply being faked on pet passports

·         Vets in Lithuania and Romania falsifying data on pet passports for PETS

·         Puppies bred in horrendous conditions in Eastern Europe

·         Puppies from Eastern Europe advertised online with no reference to their countries of origin


Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak said,


“I am pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the issue of illegal puppy smuggling - something which affects many people in my constituency each year. Not only is this issue affecting unwitting members of the public who are buying puppies without knowing where in the world they have come from, but it also brings with it a risk of disease to humans and dogs, which is simply unacceptable.


“There are also the huge welfare concerns for the puppies being transported such long distances at such a young age. It’s evident that greater measures need to be put in place to deter people from smuggling puppies into this country illegally.”


To find out more about Dogs Trust and to read our findings on puppy smuggling please visit

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