MP action call on puppy smuggling - The Evesham Observer

MP action call on puppy smuggling

Evesham Editorial 6th Apr, 2019   0

EVESHAM’s MP Nigel Huddleston MP has called for ‘actions rather than words’ to tackle puppy smuggling after leading a parliamentary debate on the issue.

The Mid Worcestershire MP has been an active campaigner on animal welfare issues since he was elected in 2015 and this was the second time he had called a debate on the matter of puppy smuggling.

Puppy smuggling is a multi-million-pound underground industry and hundreds of illegally traded puppies are intercepted at British ports each year.

While it is difficult to accurately assess the scale of puppy smuggling trade given that it is illegal, it’s likely the true number being smuggled across the border reaches into the thousands.

Puppy smuggling is an industry perpetrated by people motivated purely by money and gangs can make up to £35,000 a week illegally transporting puppies through the border to be sold on to unsuspecting dog lovers in the UK.

Many MPs joined Mr Huddleston in identifying the ease with which the EU-wide Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) regulations can be abused as the root cause of the puppy smuggling trade and they urged the Government to consider how the UK could close some of these loopholes after it has left the EU.

MPs also echoed Mr Huddleston’s calls for the Government to toughen up enforcement and pass legislation to increase in the maximum sentence for animal cruelty to five years – a change the Government has already pledged to enact but not yet implemented.

“We are a nation of animal lovers and the Government should not underestimate the strength of feeling that the British public has about this issue. I receive a lot of correspondence from constituents about puppy smuggling and I have been fortunate to spend time with the Dogs Trust at its rehoming centre in Wickhamford in my constituency – one of the largest centres of its kind in the country,” Mr Huddleston said.

“But as was said many times during the debate, the time has come for action rather than words and I will continue working with colleagues to keep pressure on the Government to act.”

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