We need YOUR HELP to stop the illegal puppy trade!

Our Government is calling on pet owners across the nation to speak out against puppy smuggling, ear cropping and more.

22.9.2021

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet. Coincidentally, 2020 also saw the number of puppies being advertised rise by 185% on the website Pets4Homes. Millions of these puppies advertised online come from dogs that are illegally bred in terrible conditions across Europe and transported to the UK.

But you can change this!

The UK Government is asking pet owners across the UK to speak out against the illegal puppy trade and show their support for an improved welfare system for pets crossing our borders. By submitting a response to this Government consultation, you can directly impact the lives of millions of animals and help create lasting legislation that puts animal welfare first. You answers could help introduce:

  • Increasing the minimum age that dogs can travel from 15 weeks to 6 months, making the illegal puppy trade instantly less lucrative
  • Prohibiting dogs with cropped ears and docked tails from entering the UK, curbing the popularity of these mutilations
  • Prohibiting heavily pregnant dogs from entering the UK and protecting the welfare of mothers

What do you need to do? 

The Commercial and Non-Commercial Movements of Pets into GBconsultation is an online survey that will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey has a total of 16 questions that may seem daunting, however, we have provided a helpful guide below to lead you through the process with ease.  

The deadline to submit your response is the 16th October 2021 so please help puppies today and have your say! 

Please note that these answers are based on the opinion of FOUR PAWS. We welcome you to write your own answers if you have stronger beliefs.  

Survey Guide

For questions 1-6, please include your personal details to register your submission.

Click the question for the recommended answer!

7. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should increase the minimum age that dogs can be moved into Great Britain under the commercial rules from 15 weeks to 6 months?

Choose Strongly Agree

8. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should increase the minimum age that dogs can be moved into Great Britain under the non-commercial rules from 15 weeks to 6 months?

Choose Strongly Agree

8. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government’s proposed exception is appropriate (that the Secretary of State (or ministers in Scotland and Wales) can permit the landing of a puppy if it is compliant with the health and documentary requirements for entry to Great Britain and if evidence is provided that justifies those exceptional circumstances apply)?

We believe in exceptional circumstances (e.g., if somebody is seeking asylum and travelling with their dog) the transport of a puppy under the age of 6 months may be permitted, providing there is suitable documentation for the dog and a declaration that the dog is not to be sold once imported. Careful consideration of exceptional circumstances is vital to ensure they do not serve as a loophole to illegally import puppies.

Choose Agree.

10. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should introduce a ban on the commercial movements of dogs with non-exempted mutilations into Great Britain?

Choose Strongly Agree.

11. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should introduce a ban on the non-commercial movement of dogs with non-exempted mutilations into Great Britain?

Choose Strongly Agree

12. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government’s proposed exceptions are appropriate:

A.  Where the prohibited procedure has been carried out on the dog by a veterinary surgeon or any other person permitted to carry out that procedure in an emergency for the purpose of saving the life or relieving the pain of the dog?

Our research indicates that obtaining the necessary documentation for a vet to carry out non-exempted procedures in Eastern European is simple and common practice. To prevent this exemption from becoming a loophole, valid veterinary documentation explaining the medical reason for the procedure would be necessary prior to travel.

Choose Agree

 

B.  In the case of tail docking, the mutilation was permitted as the dog is a recognised working dog?

FOUR PAWS UK does not support tail docking or the use of dogs for any form of work that may cause injury, pain, suffering and physical or psychological stress. To prevent this exemption from becoming a loophole, valid veterinary documentation explaining the reason for the procedure and owner declaration of the dog’s future working status would be necessary prior to travel. Repercussions for falsifying such documentation should be strong enough to disincentivise this as a possible loophole.

Choose Neither Agree nor Disagree

 

C.  The dog is an assistance dog (as defined under section 173 (1) of the Equality Act 2010)?

FOUR PAWS UK does not support tail docking. To prevent this exemption from becoming a loophole, valid veterinary documentation explaining the reason for the procedure and evidence of the dog’s future working/assistance status would be necessary prior to travel.

Choose Agree

 

D.  Secretary of State (or ministers in Scotland and Wales) can permit the landing of a dog with a non-exempted mutilation if it is compliant with the health and documentary requirements for entry to Great Britain and if evidence is provided that justifies those exceptional circumstances apply?

This exemption could provide a major loophole for the illegal importation of mutilated dogs. A clear categorization on what is an exceptional circumstance and what evidence is necessary would need to be detailed prior to this exemption coming into effect.

Choose Neither Agree nor Disagree

 

E.  The procedure was carried out before the prohibition comes into force?

Valid veterinary documentation indicating the date the procedure was carried out would be necessary to prevent this exemption from becoming a loophole.

Choose Neither Agree nor Disagree

 

13. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should introduce a ban on the commercial movement into Great Britain of dogs which are more than 42 days pregnant?

Choose Strongly Agree

14.  To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should introduce a ban on the non-commercial movement into Great Britain of dogs which are more than 42 days pregnant?

Choose Strongly Agree

15.  To what extent do you agree or disagree that the government should introduce a ban on the commercial movement within Great Britain (domestic movements) of dogs which are more than 42 days pregnant?

Choose Strongly Agree

16.  Do you think there should be exceptions set out under this proposal? If so, describe the exception and any comments or evidence to support your answer.

Skip this question

17.  To what extent do you agree or disagree with the government's proposal to introduce a seizure power that will allow the relevant authority to arrange for the detention of non-compliant animals in all cases, including where the owner is present?

Choose Strongly Agree

18.   To what extent do you agree or disagree with the government's proposal to set out a seven-day detention period in law?

Choose Strongly Agree

19.   To what extent do you agree or disagree that a maximum penalty for illegally landing a dog of 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine is appropriate?

Choose Strongly Agree

20.   To what extent do you agree or disagree that monetary penalties would be a useful enforcement tool under this legislation?

Choose Strongly Agree

21.   To what extent do you agree or disagree with the government's proposal to retain existing requirements in relation to the commercial import and non-commercial movement of cats?

We agree with government’s reasoning behind this proposal, however, we must stress that a potential repercussion of reducing the illegal trade of dogs may increase the illegal trade of cats. Therefore, continued investment in the monitoring of seizures and welfare impacts for the commercial and non-commercial movement of cats is suggested.

Choose Neither Agree nor Disagree

22.   To what extent do you agree or disagree with the government's proposal to retain existing requirements in relation to the commercial import and non-commercial movement of ferrets?

We agree with government’s reasoning behind this proposal, however, there should be continued investment in the monitoring of seizures and welfare impacts for the commercial and non-commercial movement of ferrets.

Choose Agree

Your response will help save millions of dogs and puppies from a life of breeding, cruelty and abuse. For the last Government consultation concerning the fur trade, the ministry for the environment received over 30,000 responses!

Just think what progress we could make if every pet owner in the UK responded against this cruel trade?

Complete the Online Survey, today

Here
Animal Charity

Rebecca Dharmpaul

Campaigns Officer

Becky works in the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK, managing our Make Food Kinder and Dog Cat Meat Trade campaigns. She has a background in Zoology and animal welfare within sanctuaries, with over five years experience across several animal non-profits to aid in the protection of animals, both in the UK and internationally.

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