Puppy smuggling crackdown: Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies meets Dogs Trust to discuss abuse of Pet Travel Scheme

Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies met with Dogs Trust representatives in Parliament last week as part of the Government’s crackdown on puppy smuggling.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:16 am

They discussed the vital work that the animal welfare charity is doing to expose the abuse of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

This well-meaning scheme is intended for people who want to take family pets on holiday.

However, some have taken advantage of it to illegally import thousands of puppies into the UK from Central and Eastern Europe.

Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies met with Dogs Trust representatives to discuss puppy smuggling and the abuse of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Picture: Clive Tagg.

“Animal welfare is one of the primary matters constituents have been raising with me over the past two years,” said Mims Davies.

“As an animal lover and dog owner myself, is one extremely close to my heart.”

Ms Davies said many people became pet owners during the Covid pandemic so there is rising concern over puppy smuggling and pet theft.

The Government’s new Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which is currently at the Committee Stage in the House of Commons, will introduce new powers to crack down on puppy smuggling.

It aims to reduce the number of pets that can travel and includes powers for the Government to bring in more restrictions on the movement of pets on welfare grounds.

This could mean increasing the minimum age of imported puppies and restricting the import of pregnant dogs, as well as dogs with cropped ears and tails.

Ms Davies said she will highlight the points made at the Dogs Trust’s event with her colleagues in DEFRA.

Find out more about the new powers to tackle puppy smuggling here.