1st June 2016

The South West MEP Ashley Fox is calling on EU chiefs to get tough on the smugglers who abuse Europe’s open borders to bring thousands of puppies into the UK.

“We have wide spread abuse of the pet’s passport scheme; an initiative to help holiday makers is being exploited by underhand commercial smugglers,” said Mr Fox.

Last year only two dogs were imported into the UK from Lithuania using an importation license, yet, 2800 came in using the pet’s passport scheme.

Mr Fox added, “These puppies often have forged papers and any illnesses or behavioural problems they may have are then concealed from buyers leaving the unsuspected owners facing huge vets bills or the prospect of having the dog euthanised or given to a charity.”

The MEP has joined forces with the Wiltshire-based Dog’s Trust to host an event in the European Parliament to highlight this issue with other parliamentarians and member states.

Mr Fox concluded, “18% of EU households own a dog and 26% a cat so this demand has created a market for this trade. We need the Commission and Member states to share data and more importantly best practice.”

“There must be a clamp down on vets who issue or falsify medical records as well as the smugglers who exploit the laws. Just as importantly we need to educate the public about how they should go about getting a new pet.”

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