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This week in Parliament I spoke up to condemn puppy smuggling.

This vile and cruel practice causes real damage to puppies’ health and wellbeing, causing them deep anxiety, stress and fear, as they are transported over long distances in very unsuitable conditions.

I believe we must work towards an end to third party dealers so that puppies can only be acquired from legitimate breeders.

The Pet Travel Scheme has been exploited by unscrupulous dealers. We also need to ensure that pets are microchipped across Europe and harmonise identification procedures, registration and databases to catch these smugglers.

Puppies are the third most valuable illegally traded commodity in the EU after drugs and arms. Dogs Trust has done much work to protect puppies from this illegal practice but action is needed across Europe and harsher penalties may help to deter offenders from engaging in this practice from which they can become extremely rich.

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