Toby Perkins MP
Toby Perkins MP

Local MP, Toby Perkins, has joined the Dogs Trust campaign to end the illegal puppy trade and is calling on the Government to take action now to protect dogs from harm and end this cruel trade once and for all.

The Dogs Trust held an event for Parliamentarians to highlight the harm the trade cause and to discuss their Puppy Pilot scheme.

Toby Perkins said, “it is shocking to hear about the horrendous ways puppies are smuggled into the UK and the poor conditions they endure. I was very disappointed last year when the government dropped the Kept Animals Bill which, among many other incredibly important animal welfare causes, sought to crack down on Puppy smuggling. I am once again calling on the Government to take urgent action to end this cruel trade once and for all”.

The Dogs Trust team spoke to Toby about their pioneering Puppy Pilot scheme, which was introduced in 2015 to aid the interception of illegally imported puppies and provide care and rehabilitation for them until they find loving new homes. Since its inception, Dogs Trust has cared for over 3,100 illegally imported puppies, which, if sold to unsuspecting members of the public, would have made over £4.5 million for their illegal importers.

The charity also discussed their recent ‘Tragic Tales & The Decade of Delay’ campaign, which calls on the Government to introduce legislation that will tackle the puppy smuggling trade by:

  • Increasing the age at which puppies can be imported to 6 months,
  • Banning the non-commercial transport of pregnant dogs in the last 30% (more than 42 days pregnant) of their gestation period as a minimum,
  • Introducing a complete ban on the commercial movement of pregnant dogs,
  • Introducing a ban on the importation and sale of dogs with mutilations such as cropped ears and tails docked for cosmetic reasons,
  • Bringing in tougher penalties for smuggling puppies to deter deceitful sellers,
  • Reducing the number of pets that can be brought into the country to 3 per vehicle.

Toby Perkins added, “I know from the dozens of emails and letters regarding puppy smuggling, how much this means to my constituents. We’re a nation of dog lovers and the vast majority of the country want this trade shut down immediately.”

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