Thousands of puppies are being illegally smuggled into the UK - the meet the demand for pets at Christmas.
The Dogs Trust is warning people of the dangers of buying puppies at Christmas.
Underhand dealers import 'designer' breeds such as Pug puppies, Dachshund puppies, French Bulldog puppies, English Bulldog puppies and Chow Chow puppies. Pups are separated from their mothers when they are weeks old because they look smaller and cuter, and can be sold for lots of money, especially in the weeks before Christmas.
Breeders and vets in countries where puppies are born – in a well-oiled network of crime and deception - fake dogs’ documents so they can be imported. Some pups have no vaccinations at all, posing a serious health risk to people here.
Breeders have been able to continue their crimes by taking advantage of loopholes in the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), a set of rules which allows animals to travel between countries without having to go to quarantine.
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