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Dogs: Smuggling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 48260, tabled on 13 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Dogs Trust's report, Puppy Smuggling: the scandal continues, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Dogs Trust’s recommendation that checks at the border should include a visual check to ensure that the pet animal is the same as the animal listed on the pet passport, and is the age stated.

Answered on

21 September 2021

We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes under the Pet Travel rules undergo 100% documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers.

Authorised pet checkers are trained by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) prior to being granted approval and receive annual audits of their checking and processing to ensure they uphold our requirements. They also receive refresher training and are encouraged to liaise with their APHA contacts to identify non-compliance trends and additional training requirements.

Pet checkers will refuse travel or share intelligence with the APHA who can intercept at the port/border if non-compliance is suspected.

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.