TAUNTON Deane MP Rebecca Pow has welcomed plans for a new law to "help bring puppy smuggling to an end" that was backed in Parliament last week (Friday, March 15).

Under the Animal Welfare (importation of dogs, cats, and ferrets) Bill, people selling pets would be banned from importing puppies under six months old, while heavily pregnant dogs would also not be allowed to travel, while ‘mutilated’ animals, such as puppies with cropped ears, would also be stopped.

The plans have been brought forward in a Private Members Bill by North Devon MP Selaine Saxby who says a huge surge in puppy smuggling started during the Covid pandemic as owners struggled to find the puppies they wanted.

She said: “I am glad the Government is supporting this vital Bill and committed to its swift passage to safeguard the welfare of thousands of puppies, dogs, cats, and ferrets that come into Great Britain from overseas each year.

“I would like to thank the tireless campaigning from pet charities who have shared their views about this Bill.

“I hope they are reassured by the measures outlined in the Bill which will stop this cruel trade by closing loopholes exploited by unscrupulous commercial traders.

“We really are a nation of pet lovers, and this legislation will ensure the UK is leading the world when it comes to animal welfare.”

The Bill will also cover the importation of cats and ferrets into the country.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, said she would be backing Selaine’s bill and said it would bring peace of mind to families looking for a new pet.

“It is easy to see how many people across Taunton Deane and the country love their pets and the special place they hold in families’ hearts,” Rebecca said.

“That’s why this Bill is so important – not just to stop criminal gangs profiting from the suffering of young animals – but to end the pain loving families feel when their beloved pet is found to be ill or in pain due to the way it was raised and brought into the country.”

“By ensuring pets can only be brought into this country in the proper and correct ways, this Bill will help bring puppy smuggling to an end.”