Reaction To EFRA Report On Puppy Smuggling - Dogs Trust
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust said:
“If taken on board, the recommendations published today in the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s (EFRA) report would bring us one step closer to putting an end to the cruel puppy smuggling trade.
“Dogs Trust has spearheaded the campaign to overhaul pet travel legislation for over six years, are at the coalface caring for illegally imported puppies and has provided mountains of evidence to the Government about what needs to change, based on what we see daily. We echo EFRA’s concerns and urge the Government to action these in order to tackle this abhorrent trade – as promised in their Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
“Like the Committee, we welcome that the Government is already consulting on key areas, such as toughening penalties for puppy smugglers, raising the minimum age puppies can enter the country and banning the movement of heavily pregnant dogs. However, to truly end the suffering of innocent dogs, we agree with the Committee that stronger action must be taken to close the loopholes that are currently being exploited by puppy smugglers, most notably:
- Increasing prosecution rates must be a priority; they are proportionately low given the estimated size of the trade
- Moving the responsibility for checking pets at the border from carriers to a Government Agency and requiring visual checks
- Increasing the funding allocated for pet checks at the ports
“We are submitting our response to Defra’s consultation on the pet movement legislation and will continue to work closely with the Government to be the voice for innocent puppies and ensure all proposed legislation is robust and effects real change.”
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