Thank you to those who have contacted me regarding puppies being smuggled across borders.
I share your concern about this crime and am grateful to the Dogs Trust for highlighting the issue. Responsibility for stopping illegal movement begins in the country where puppies are born, so in response to a previous report, the Chief Veterinary Officer wrote to the authorities in the highlighted countries to remind them of their duties.
There is a robust checking regime for pets travelling here. Every pet travelling with its owner on an approved route is checked for compliance and the UK Border Force carries out a wide range of checks on vehicles arriving in the UK.
As individuals, we need to take care not to fuel demand for these animals by providing a market for the unscrupulous people who exploit them. Government advice is very clear: people who buy a pet are responsible for knowing where it comes from and, if it is found to have been imported illegally, will be held responsible for any necessary quarantine and veterinary fees.