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Dogs: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 280926, tabled on 23 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department is taking to increase collaboration between the Animal and Plant Health Agency and veterinary regulatory authorities in other countries to tackle provision of fake pet passports and veterinary certificates for dogs being imported into the UK.

Answered on

6 September 2019

Defra takes the issue of illegal dog and puppy imports very seriously. This is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to the smuggled dogs and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. Defra is working hard to tackle the problem through a comprehensive approach that seeks to target both the supply and demand of illegally imported dogs.

International engagement is one aspect of this approach. It takes place through Defra, with input from APHA intelligence and expertise. Under Article 26 of EU Regulation 1/2005 (on the protection of animals during transport and related operations), Defra notify Member States of the origin of the transporter where a welfare issue with an import has been identified. We send these to notify the Member State so that they can take remedial action to ensure that the transporter complies in future. The notifications include details of passports and certificates. The UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has written to her counterparts in countries where illegally imported dogs typically originate, including (most recently) her counterparts in Hungary and Serbia. The issue also continues to be raised and discussed at EU CVO meetings.

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