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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 26th January 2018 > Bad Puppy Love

Bad Puppy Love

The smuggling of unvaccinated dogs as young as 4 weeks old has become a big business in Britain



CUTE CONTRABAND The illegal trade in prospective pets extends from Great Britain to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, fueled by corruption, lax enforcement and minimal penalties.

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.

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