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I again pledged my support for an end to puppy smuggling in partnership with dog welfare charity Dogs Trust.

I spoke with representatives of the charity about its 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 its recent ‘Tragic Tales & The Decade of Delay’ campaign, which featured four real life case studies of dogs who have been helped via the Puppy Pilot. The campaign calls on the UK Government to introduce legislation that will tackle the puppy smuggling trade by:

  1. Increasing the age at which puppies can be imported to 6 months,

  2. Banning the non-commercial transport of pregnant dogs in the last 30% (more than 42 days pregnant) of their gestation period as a minimum,

  3. Introducing a complete ban on the commercial movement of pregnant dogs,

  4. Introducing a ban on the importation and sale of dogs with mutilations such as cropped ears and tails docked for cosmetic reasons,

  5. Bringing in tougher penalties for smuggling puppies to deter deceitful sellers,

  6. Reducing the number of pets that can be brought into the country to 3 per vehicle.

To find out more about Dogs Trust’s work to end puppy smuggling, visit -


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