Dogs: Quarantine

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many puppies have been seized and taken into quarantine since the Animal and Plant Health Agency established an intelligence team to gather data, intelligence and information on the illegal movement of dogs and puppies in 2015.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The Animal and Plant Health Agency’s (APHA’s) data retention period for import data is 3 years. APHA holds data on animals landed in Great Britain that do not meet the import requirements and therefore require quarantine, under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974 (as amended) (RIO).

The number of puppies quarantined in the last three years can be found in the table below. The figures for illegal animals also include:

• pet animals that arrive at UK airports and during the pets check are found to be non-compliant.

• animals that are found ‘inland’ and after a trading standards investigation are found to be non-compliant.

Number of puppies quarantined







There are many reasons why people do not comply with the legislation concerning the importation of dogs entering the UK. As a result, Defra and APHA have put in place mechanisms to understand the cause of non-compliance through collaborative working with third sector partners, enhanced working with carriers and better sharing of information by developing intelligence networks.

Due to the complex landscape, it is not possible to correlate the number of seizures to any one particular initiative. There have been a number of recent focused efforts from all involved parties including training carrier operatives on the requirements for compliant travel and changes to the hours of working of APHA staff at Dover. Intelligence gathered has been used effectively to alert other EU member states of issues arising, to disrupt illegal trade before it enters the UK.

It is therefore through a combination of numerous activities that the number of dogs requiring seizure has dropped.

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