Call to supports Dog Trust campaign
Sir, The Dogs Trust is calling on the government to take immediate action to address the illegal importation of puppies into Great Britain, after an undercover investigation discovered smugglers across Central and Eastern Europe continuing to abuse the system.
The UK’s largest dog welfare charity is urging people to contact their local MP via the Dogs Trust website to insist that the government revise inadequate legislation to put a stop to this horrific trade.
Undercover footage revealed a vet in Lithuania selling sedatives to allow puppies to be smuggled across the British border. Puppies as young as four weeks old were also transported with their umbilical cords still attached during a cramped 1,000 mile, 30-hour journey across Europe.
In another shocking case, puppies were observed vomiting and another eating their own faeces during a journey in a packed mini-van from Lithuania. Confined to pet carriers stacked amongst other packages in the back of the van with no air conditioning, and outside temperatures of 25 degrees, the puppies were given water just twice and not fed at all.
Paula Boyden, veterinary director for Dogs Trust said: ‘These shocking cases clearly show that urgent action is needed to stop the puppy smuggling scandal.
‘It remains as serious an issue for animal welfare and public health in 2017 as it did in 2014.
‘The number of prosecutions is far too low and the lack of visual checks at ferry ports and borders is unacceptable.
Television and radio presenter Dermot O’Leary is backing the campaign and says: ‘As a dog lover myself I was horrified to learn that puppies are being smuggled into Great Britain in such terrible condition.
‘I fully support Dogs Trust’s campaign to increase awareness of the puppy smuggling scandal.’ Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director, Dogs Trust.