This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 1 November 2017 from 4.30-5.30pm on puppy smuggling. The debate will be opened by Nigel Huddleston MP.

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Under the EU Pets Travel Scheme or PETS, vaccinated and microchipped dogs, cats and ferrets are allowed to travel between EU countries for non-commercial reasons as long as they have a pet passport and have complied with all the requirements of the scheme, which include a rabies vaccination.

The PETS scheme is designed to allow a maximum of five pets to travel with their owner, rather than for the commercial movement of animals intended for sale as pets. Under the scheme, pet owners must fill in a declaration confirming that they are not going to sell or transfer the ownership of the pet.  An approved transport company must be used for the travel of pets unless travelling between the UK and Ireland.

There is evidence that the scheme is being abused to import very young puppies illegally for the UK pet trade, with animal charities raising concerns about the welfare and health of the animals being imported. In addition there is evidence puppies are being hidden and smuggled into the UK. In response, there have been calls from charities to address the issue and strengthen the requirements for travelling with pets once the UK leaves the EU.

  • Commons Debate Pack CDP-2017-0205
  • Authors: Elena Ares, Nikki Sutherland
  • Topics: Animals

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