Dorset MEP Ashley Fox is calling for better enforcement of rules regulating the importation of puppies into the UK.
The UK-based Dogs Trust has presented evidence to Mr Fox about diseases being brought into the UK from countries like Lithuania and Romania and the worrying ease in which commercial transporters can bring puppies into Great Britain under a scheme designed for pet owners.
The Trust says thousands of these puppies brought in this way do not fulfil current UK health rules.
Mr Fox said, “Families in Dorset run the risk of not knowing enough about their pet’s health and they often end up paying substantial vets bills or asking a rehoming charity to intervene.”
The Dogs Trust’s Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, who met with Ashley in Brussels said, “The implications of the puppy smuggling trade are huge; for consumers who are being duped and the puppies that suffer horribly. There are rules that need improving and rules that are being ignored and families and their pets are suffering as a result.
“There is clear abuse of the system and the rules need to be reviewed,” concluded Ashley. “We will be working with the Trust to look at what can be done and taking the issue to the Commission. In the meantime the best advice seems to find out as much as you can about the dog and its breeder before buying and see it with its mother.”