Newsweek

The Latest Illegal Business In The UK Is Dog Smuggling

The smuggling of unvaccinated dogs as young as 4 weeks old has become a big business in Britain.
PER_Puppies_01_839193632 Source: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Images/Getty

Great Britain has a dangerous smuggling problem that sounds like a premise for a YouTube skit: puppy trafficking. In response to growing warnings from animal charities, British members of Parliament met on November 1 last year to discuss the issue, calling for the government to increase the number of customs officials at U.K. ports checking for dogs and to impose significant fines on unlicensed puppy traders.

Scottish MP Patricia Gibson warned that Britain’s impending departure from the European Union would make the problem worse. With the U.K. still finalizing its new trade and border arrangements, there is a risk, she said, of reduced international cooperation to stop the smugglers.

As Parliament tries to solve this worsening problem, puppy traders continue to ply their trade. Last July, in which it discovered puppies as young as 4 weeks old being smuggled into the U.K., some with their umbilical cords still attached. (The legal age at which puppies can be imported and sold in the U.K. is 15 weeks.) Investigators discovered veterinarians in Lithuania selling sedatives to drug

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