Animals: Smuggling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th September 2017.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Labour, Warley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps are being taken at ports to tackle illegal smuggling of puppies and other animals into the UK.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the smuggling of dogs into the UK.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We take the issue of illegal trafficking of puppies very seriously.

Responsibility for stopping the illegal movement of puppies begins in the country where they are born. When cases of illegal puppy movements under the Pet Travel Scheme are discovered, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) working with Defra will raise instances of abuse of the scheme with the authorities in the relevant countries.

Defra’s Chief Veterinary Officer has written to EU countries to raise concerns over illegal smuggling of puppies and animals and APHA has worked in partnership with the Dogs Trust at Dover where approx. 600 puppies have been seized and taken into quarantine since the initiative began.

Defra also works closely with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group to drive up standards for online advertisements and make potential pet owners and website operators more aware of rogue dealers to reduce demand.

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