Fiona joins Dogs Trust call for an end to puppy smuggling

Fiona has joined calls for an end to puppy smuggling at an event hosted by Dogs Trust, urging the Government to take action to end the cruel practice.

The event, utilising virtual reality, showed the experiences which puppies endure while being transported across Central and Eastern Europe to be sold to unsuspecting buyers in the UK.

Dogs Trust has been investigating this problem since 2014 with its reports revealing shocking evidence of the Pet Travel Scheme being exploited by illegal puppy importers. This fourth report supplies further evidence of corrupt vets in Central and Eastern Europe falsifying documents for underage puppies to be brought into Great Britain; pregnant dogs being smuggled so their puppies can be born in the UK and lax border controls. The charity has long been calling for changes to be made to put a stop to the continued and growing abuse of PETS.

Dogs Trust’s event took MPs on a virtual journey from Lithuania to Great Britain to provide an insight into the conditions puppies are forced to endure.

Fiona Bruce MP said:

“Animal welfare is incredibly important issue to many of my constituents, as I know from my postbag, and as a dog owner myself I am deeply concerned at what puppies endure in coming to the UK. Dogs Trust has done good work to unveil this horrendous trade that has been growing over the past few years. The findings of their reports are shocking and I am proud to support the case to bring an end to puppy smuggling with the introduction of tighter controls and the need for much stronger penalties to deter this horrific crime.”

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director says:

“The findings of our fourth report into the puppy smuggling trade have revealed undeniable evidence that illegal importers remain undeterred. We believe this has only scratched the surface of the full extent of the problem. The lack of visual checks at ports and paltry penalties for those caught smuggling puppies are simply no deterrent and highlight an urgent need for our pet travel legislation to be redrawn.

We hope our virtual reality experience has brought to life the terrifying experience a puppy faces when it falls victim to this trade. We thank Fiona Bruce MP for her part in highlighting the urgency of this issue. We want to see the government acting on our recommendations now to stop this horrifying trade.”

Since Dogs Trust launched its fourth report ‘When will this Cruel Trade End?’ over 7,000 people have emailed their MPs calling for changes to the Pet Travel Scheme. To see if your MP has already pledged to help, visit

If you have not already emailed your MP to call for action visit today to do so.