Scarborough and Whitby MP Sir Robert Goodwill helps Dogs Trust highlight horrors of the Puppy Smuggling trade
Sir Robert Goodwill MP, Barry Gardiner MP, Rosie Duffield MP, Ian Byrne MP, and Dr Neil Hudson MP visited as members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee.
The MPs attended as part of the Committee’s recently announced Pet Welfare Inquiry, which examines the illegal smuggling and trade of puppies and the impact the cost-of-living is having on pet owners and rehoming organisations such as Dogs Trust.
Attending MPs heard from the charity’s Veterinary Director, Dr Paula Boyden, as well as Regional Head of Operations, Adam Levy, to learn more about the organisation’s response to Puppy Smuggling.
Dogs Trust outlined some of the many horrific examples of the smugglers’ complete indifference to the welfare of the dogs they are bringing into the country illegally for sale.
These include dogs being crammed into tiny crates unable to either lie down or sit down comfortably, dogs with recently cropped ears, wounds still open and bleeding and heavily pregnant female dogs, some with evidence of previous caesarean sections.
MPs also viewed pregnant mums, seized by authorities at the ports on welfare grounds, some in the very late stages of pregnancy and two mums who had recently given birth, as well as puppy victims of the trade.
Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, said: “Since the Dogs Trust Puppy Pilot started in December 2015, we have cared for nearly 2,500 puppies and over 140 pregnant mums and their 700 plus puppies. A day doesn't go by that we are not left staggered by the cruelty shown by the puppy smugglers towards living, breathing animals all in the pursuit of profit. We are hugely grateful for the support of the EFRA Select Committee in highlighting this issue.”
The charity had been calling for the public to email the Prime Minister and demand that his government delivers its manifesto commitment to stop puppy smuggling and bring back the Kept Animals Bill to Parliament. Over 50,000 members of the public have shown their support in tackling this cruel trade.
Despite this overwhelming public support, the Government dropped the popular Bill last week.
In response, Dogs Trust has shared its concerns over this latest setback and what it means for the animals that will now continue to suffer without the protections the Bill could have provided, including victims of puppy smuggling and dogs imported with cropped ears.
This latest blow follows nineteen months of ministers publicly promising the Bill would progress as soon as Parliamentary time allowed.