Puppy Smuggling

Part of Youth Inmates: Solitary Confinement – in Westminster Hall at 5:27 pm on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip 5:27 pm, 2nd April 2019

We are getting on with it. As many hon. Members have said, we need to look at the effectiveness of on-the-spot fines. We will look at that and will review the effectiveness of mandating carriers to conduct 100% visual checks of all dogs travelling. For example, Eurotunnel has a pet checking reception, built in 2015, which gives it the capacity to visually check many dogs, and we will be exploring the positive impacts of that in tackling puppy smuggling.

We need to do more on communications with the public to help them to understand the commitments they are making at the point of purchase, and to help them think about where the puppy that they are so keen to buy has been sourced from.

Coming back to the “B” word, which a few hon. Members have mentioned, we will be considering our future approach to regulation in the context of the negotiations on our future relationship with the EU. We are open to actively exploring future options and opportunities for our pet travel scheme, and will look at each of the recommendations from the Dogs Trust and the British Veterinary Association as a part of that. I hope that that gives some reassurance to my hon. Friends the Members for Southend West (Sir David Amess) and for Mid Worcestershire that we are committed to taking further action, and that we will continue to ensure that there are robust controls on disease and animal welfare after we leave the EU.

My time is just about up and I hear some shouts outside, which I hope are not about this particular subject. I and the Government are committed to working collaboratively with colleagues to take further action on this vitally important issue.