Ipswich: Trading Standards urge buyers to do their homework before buying a pet from abroad

TRADING standards officers today issued a warning to prospective purchasers of dogs imported from the continent.

There has been an increasing trade in imports, particularly from eastern Europe since January when UK controls were relaxed to bring the country in line with EU regulations.

Although Rusty’s case was an exception as he had been stolen, others have taken advantage of the changes to bring puppies into England without the correct jabs.

Officers are urging people to do their homework before buying a dog brought from abroad and to check it has a passport with all the correct vaccinations.

Puppies are the most marketable dogs, and since January there has appeared to be a burgeoning trade, particularly involving people from eastern European countries such as Poland and Czech Republic.

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The puppies are often for sale at a third of the price they would be in the UK.

John Chaplin, of Suffolk Trading Standards Department, said: “It’s a lucrative business. We have seen a three or four-fold rise in the amount of illegal landings we are getting.

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“People see a puppy which is fine and healthy, then keep it for a couple of months before taking it to a vet who knows the rules a lot better than the public does on a passport and how it should be stamped.

“They see the stamp on the vaccination is not right, and the vet reports it to us.

“Previously we would have got one or two (dogs) in a year, but we have had seven or eight so far this year.”

The discovery leaves the owners having to have the dogs put into quarantine for 28 days after being given the correct jabs.

Mr Chaplin said the stay alone can have potential costs of �200-�300.

He added: “The big message is when you buy puppies make sure you know where it has come from and has the correct paperwork and inoculations in line with the vaccination manufacturer’s instructions.”

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