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Do You Want a Poorly Pup for Christmas?

17 November 2014

ANALYSIS - Following last weeks revelation of the staggering numbers of illegally imported puppies crossing our borders, Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister has warned of the risks attached to buying an illegally imported dog, writes Gemma Hyland.

Dogs Trust revealed last week that while breeders are making upwards of £100,000 a year from the sale of smuggled puppies, the potential implications can be catastrophic. 

dog in carIreland's Minister of Agriculture Michelle O’Neill pointed out that illegally imported dogs increase the potential for serious diseases such as rabies or Echinococcus tapeworm to enter the country.

The north of Ireland is free from these diseases and has strict importation controls for all animals including pets.

The Minister said: "While the north of Ireland does not have the same direct transport links with the continent as Britain, my Department will take action to control any illegal activity that is identified.

"DARD is currently liaising with Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) officials who are following this up with the Lithuanian and Hungarian authorities."

The Minister concluded: "My Department has issued guidance for anyone considering buying a dog and the public can help stamp out the illegal puppy trade by sourcing pups from reputable breeders.

"Dogs should be bought from a known breeder or source. The public should be vigilant when buying a dog that has been advertised in the media and if the dog was born outside of the north of Ireland or Britain it must have a pet passport and/or veterinary certificate."

Further Reading

You can read our previous coverage by clicking here.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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