MEP Daniel Dalton is calling for better enforcement of rules regulating the importation of puppies into the UK.
The West Midlands-based Dogs Trust has presented evidence to Mr Dalton about diseases being brought into the UK from countries like Lithuania and Romania and the worrying ease in which commercial transporters can bring puppies into Great Britain under a scheme designed for pet owners.
The Trust says thousands of these puppies brought in this way do not fulfil current UK health rules.
Mr Dalton said, "Families in the West Midlands run the risk of not knowing enough about their pet's health and often ended up paying substantial vets bills or handing them to a rehoming charity like the Dog's Trust."
The Dogs Trust's Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, who met with Daniel in Brussels said, “The implications of the puppy smuggling trade are huge; for consumers who are being duped and the puppies that suffer horribly. There are rules that need improving and rules that are being ignored and families and their pets are suffering as a result.
“There is clear abuse of the system and the rules need to be reviewed,” concluded Daniel. “I will be working with the Trust to look at what can be done and taking the issue to the Commission. In the meantime the best advice seems to be to know as much as you can about the dog and its breeder and owner before buying.”