More than 66,000 dogs were commercially imported into the UK last year, according to figures from the Animal and Plant Health Agency. however, Evidence shows an increase in imports with few animal welfare measuresAnd As well as smuggling activity, where border authorities have seen a 260% increase in the number of young puppies intercepted for not complying with UK pet import rules, with a total of 324 cases in 2019, up to 843 cases in 2020.
Faced with this situation, to counteract the smuggling of puppies and low-income imports by illegal breeders and traders, Has developed a series of measures which were included in a UK-wide consultation to obtain the views of the public and stakeholders.
Include suggestions Raising the minimum age to import a puppy from 15 weeks to six monthsas well as banning the import of bitches in advanced pregnancy to help protect the health of the puppy and the mother, and Ban on importing dogs with docked ears or tails.
In addition, the Consultation also requests the public and interested parties, Opinions about new penalties for violating these rules, changes to the detention process, and whether the proposals should be expanded to include cats and ferrets.
Upon launching the advisory, they made it clear from the UK government that puppy smuggling “It is an outrageous practice and we are determined to suppress it“.
“NSRaising the minimum age for importing puppies will help protect the thousands of animals that enter the country each year It will also prevent criminals from seeking to profit from the increased demand for pets.”
Furthermore, although “we already have one of the most stringent pet travel border control systems in the world, We go even further by preventing someone from bringing in dogs that have undergone inhumane proceduresAnd How to cut the ears or the tail “.
For his part, the Executive Director of the Animal Welfare Organization of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said, Chris Sherwood, explains that they have seen in recent years “Significant increase in the number of dogs being commercially imported into the UKAnd As well as the number of dogs reported to have undergone mutilation proceduresLike clipped ears.”
Therefore, “these are the major canine welfare issues that need to be addressed urgently in order to Protecting animals from unnecessary suffering and protecting the public from becoming victims of criminals who try to take advantage of the value of these dogs“.
Sherwood also welcomes the government’s commitment to “address these issues among many others in its Animal Welfare Action Plan, and we hope that these The new proposals are being implemented efficiently so that we can eradicate the illegal dog trade“.
For its part, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomed the new proposals. Vice President of BVA, Daniela dos Santos, was pleased with the new procedures: “I am pleased that the government has heard the concerns I have repeatedly raised by veterinary and animal welfare organizations. It works decisively to suppress the smuggling of puppies, the ears docking and the docking of the tail.”