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Pet Travel Scheme: Dogs

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 151194, tabled on 31 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of undertaking visual checks to confirm that dogs entering the UK match pet passports.

Answered on

20 April 2022

We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs entering Great Britain on approved routes (every route other than Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies) under the pet travel rules undergo 100% documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers.

To enter Great Britain dogs must have been implanted with a microchip or have a legible tattoo imprinted prior to 3 July 2011. A dog’s identity is checked by ensuring that the microchip or tattoo details correspond to the details in the dog’s documentation. Carriers can refer suspected non-compliances to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). APHA staff are highly trained to deal with intercepted shipments.

APHA works collaboratively with Border Force and other operational partners at ports, airports and inland, sharing intelligence to enforce the pet travel rules, disrupt illegal imports, safeguard the welfare of animals and seize non-compliant animals.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 8 June 2021 and will progress as soon as parliamentary time allows. The Bill allows us to further protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.