Our response to Defra's 2016 review of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals
In response to the summary of responses following Defra’s 2016 review of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals (Amendment) Order 2011, published today:
Dogs Trust is disappointed with the summary of responses in that there is no clear direction or indication of the potential for change. The review of the legislation on pet travel is a crucial opportunity to propose vital amends to the existing legislation that we know is failing. We urge the Government to take on board the various concerns expressed by Dogs Trust and other stakeholders, as outlined in the summary of responses, and to put forward a review document with clear proposals to improve this failing legislation. This would include increasing penalties for those illegally importing puppies and a significant overhaul of the pet checking system at ports. Dogs Trust has been campaigning on this issue since 2014, yet to date our recommendations have not been acted upon. Sadly the summary indicates no urgency in tackling the issues that have arisen, including the illegal importation of puppies.
Over 270,000 dogs travelled into Great Britain on the Pet Travel Scheme in 2016 alone, but it’s impossible to determine how many of these have been brought in under falsified passports. Vets in Central and Eastern European countries routinely alter puppies’ birth dates in passports to make them appear older than they are, and therefore many underage puppies are entering the country before they are legally able to do so.
Whilst Brexit will provide an important opportunity to review existing legislation, there are long overdue changes that can and should be made as part of this current review.
Read the full Dogs Trust investigation into Puppy Smuggling here.