Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Justin pledges His support To The Dogs Trust Campaign To End Puppy Smuggling

Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, pledged their support on the issue of puppy smuggling today at a parliamentary event run by the UK’s leading dog welfare charity Dogs Trust.

The event took place in the House of Commons, to mark more than ten years of the charity’s efforts to end puppy smuggling.

It comes as The Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill brought forward by Selaine Saxby, Conservative MP for North Devon, is due to have its 2nd reading on 15 March. The Bill aims to close some of the loopholes that allow the puppy smuggling trade to continue unabated.

The Dogs Trust team spoke to Justin about their pioneering Puppy Pilot scheme, which was introduced in 2015 to aid the interception of illegally imported puppies and provide care and rehabilitation for them until they find loving new homes. Since its inception, Dogs Trust has cared for over 3,100 illegally imported puppies, which, if sold to unsuspecting members of the public, would have made over £4.5 million for their illegal importers.

The charity also discussed their recent ‘Tragic Tales & The Decade of Delay’ campaign, which featured four real life case studies of dogs who have been helped via the Puppy Pilot. The campaign calls on the Government to introduce legislation that will tackle the puppy smuggling trade by:

  1. Increasing the age at which puppies can be imported to 6 months,
  2. Banning the non-commercial transport of pregnant dogs in the last 30% (more than 42 days pregnant) of their gestation period as a minimum,
  3. Introducing a complete ban on the commercial movement of pregnant dogs,
  4. Introducing a ban on the importation and sale of dogs with mutilations such as cropped ears and tails docked for cosmetic reasons,
  5. Bringing in tougher penalties for smuggling puppies to deter deceitful sellers,
  6. Reducing the number of pets that can be brought into the country to 3 per vehicle.

Justin pledged their support to the Dogs Trust campaign to end puppy smuggling.

Justin Tomlinson MP said:

“I am delighted to support Dogs Trust in their mission to end puppy smuggling, and I hope to see much needed legislation to tackle this issue on the horizon soon.

Claire Calder, Head of Public Affairs at Dogs Trust, said:

“We are delighted that so many MPs came down to our event to show their support for this important cause, and we hope that the loopholes that allow for this cruel trade to continue will soon be closed.

“We have been campaigning for over 10 years to end the suffering of countless numbers of dogs caught up in this abhorrent trade, and we hope that with the support of MPs from across Parliament, we can finally end puppy smuggling and take a real step forward for dog welfare in the UK.

To find out more about Dogs Trust’s work to end puppy smuggling, visit - https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/our-views/puppy-smuggling

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