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Worrying increase in puppy smuggling
25 November 2015
Illegal puppy dealers have taken advantage of a change in the Pet passport rules. Under previous rules a puppy could be vaccinated from 12 weeks of age but would not be able to enter the UK for six months after passing a rabies blood test. Puppies would therefore not be able to enter the UK until they were nearly adult dogs, at around ten months old.
Under the current scheme puppies can enter the UK from 15 weeks of age following a rabies vaccine at 12 weeks and then a three week wait period. This makes it much harder for officials to spot puppies that are far younger, entering the country under falsified documents.
When buying a puppy always try to buy from a registered breeder and always ask to see the mother. If an imported puppy is for sale but it is under 15 weeks old then it is likely to have been imported illegally. Do not buy the puppy and contact trading standards.
The illegal importation of puppies not only increases the risk of the introduction of rabies to the UK, but also has important implications for the welfare of the puppy. The puppies may have been bred in very poor conditions and are at risk of disease and significant behavioural problems.
For further information on the investigation report produced by the Dogs Trust: www.dogstrust.org.uk/whats-happening