Non-commercial importation of dogs into the UK
Prior to 2021, the non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and ferrets into UK was regulated by the European Union (EU) under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which required puppies to be a minimum of 15 weeks of age upon importation. Unfortunately, it is widely acknowledged that commercial importers were illegitimately using PETS as a route to import puppies under the age limit, raising serious implications for both the welfare of puppies and the risk of diseases.
As a result of the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol, NI remains fully within the EU PETS system. Therefore, at present, the rules for importing a dog into GB and NI from outside of the UK remain aligned. The following rules apply to dogs being imported into GB from outside of the UK*, and for import into NI (including from GB):
所有宠物必须微芯片和抗狂犬病疫苗。兽医需要证明宠物在疫苗接种后至少12周，欧盟和某些其他国家（包括进口GB）的旅行者在旅行前的主要疫苗接种后，需要等待21天 - Puppies这些国家必须在进口前至少15周。从“未上市”第三国进入的宠物必须在初始疫苗接种后30天通过血液测试，然后进行三个月的等待。根据原籍国，狗还必须在旅行前不超过五天接受绦虫治疗。
*There are no paperwork or health requirements to transport dogs from Northern Ireland into GB.
Commercial movements of animals are covered by the principles of the Balai Directive, a piece of EU law which the UK has retained following the transition period. The Balai Directive covers, for example, when a puppy is imported for onward sale and requires puppies to be a minimum of 15 weeks of age and to meet national pet travel rules. Under the Balai Directive, dogs must come from a registered holding and are subject to a clinical examination of pet and health certificates by a veterinarian. As well as this, importers must ensure notice of their shipment is provided to the Animal and Plant Health Agency alongside a declaration of their onward destination to allow for future traceability and follow up checks.
Under the Balai Directive, 39,997 dogs were commercially imported to the UK in 2017. The number of dogs imported under this legislation increased to 44,563 in 2019.
Such a measure would enable border officials to easily identify whether a puppy met the age restrictions and thus could effectively restrict the ability of puppy smugglers to import puppies at around the 8-10 weeks mark; however, it would also impact those relocating for work purposes or breeders seeking to import a single puppy with a view to diversifying or improving the genetic line within their dog breed, and thereby improving breed health.
Reduce numbers of imported puppies
现有的规则re insufficient in preventing importers from illegally importing puppies for onwards sale. Reducing the number of puppies that can be imported – to one or two puppies per vehicle – would subsequently decrease the financial viability for those seeking to abuse importation regulations to commercially import puppies.
Review of domestic breeding regulations
Alongside reviewing legislation governing the importation of puppies into the UK, the Government must also review the impact of recent legislation regarding domestic supply. As long as domestic supply is unable to meet domestic demand, there will be a gap in the market for importers to fill. We are calling on the Westminster Government to review the impact of the Animals Activities (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018 in relation to dog breeding.