Today the Government published our plans to tackle cruel puppy smuggling and ban the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails to safeguard the welfare of imported puppies and dogs.
Puppy smuggling increased by 260% from 2019 to 2020 – it is a cruel trade that we are determined to stamp out to protect puppies’ welfare. That is why the Government is building on our commitment in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare by setting out our proposals to raise the minimum age for puppies imported into the UK and banning the importation of dogs which been victims of ear cropping and tail docking.
The new powers, which also include raising the minimum age for importing a puppy from 15 weeks to six months and banning the import of heavily pregnant dogs to help protect puppy and mother welfare, are aimed at safeguarding the welfare of the thousands of puppies and dogs that come into Great Britain from overseas each year.
The proposals are part of a raft of measures included in an eight-week GB-wide consultation which seeks views from the public and stakeholders on Government proposals to tackle puppy smuggling and low-welfare imports by unscrupulous breeders and traders.
In addition, the consultation asks the public and stakeholders for views on new penalties for breaching these rules, changes to the detention and rehoming process and whether the proposals should be extended to cover cats and ferrets.
The proposals launched today build on the UK Government’s commitment to end the cruel practice of puppy smuggling and low welfare imports, as set out in the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare and Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. The responses to the consultation will inform future Government policy in this area, helping to deliver a manifesto commitment made in 2019.
The Government will protect dogs from unnecessary suffering and the public from criminals seeking to profit from cruel practices towards animals.
For any more information on the Government’s new plans to crack down on puppy smuggling and ban the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails, including comments from the Animal Welfare Minister and the RSPCA chief executive, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-powers-to-tackle-cruel-puppy-smuggling-move-step-closer.