More must be done to stamp out the cruel and illegal trade in puppies and kittens across Europe.
That’s the message from a cross party group of MEPs including East of England Labour MEP Alex Mayer.
For a nation of pet lovers this is a no brainer. Yet figures from the Dogs Trust shoe that demand for a faithful friend outnumbers supply and this has led to criminals smuggling over 200 puppies into the UK every day.
With just 70,000 puppies available from UK breeders, making up only 10% of dogs sold annually in Britain, sadly puppy farms have sprung up in counties such as Lithuania, Hungary and Poland.
Trafficking can mean cats and dogs travelling hundreds of miles in appalling conditions, often missing crucial vaccinations and treatments making them susceptible to diseases, before being sold to unsuspecting families at a huge profit.
Following a meeting of the cross party group on Animal Welfare with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance, Ms Mayer has contacted the Lithuanian politician heading up the EU’s new Animal Welfare plan. She is demanding that the welfare of cats and dogs is put at the heart of the plan. The Labour MEP says better enforcement of Pet Passports is also needed at our borders to spot criminals who repeatedly bring animals to the UK.
Ms. Mayer said “We all love our pets and that’s why I'm proud to be leading the fight and will be hounding EU leaders to do more to halt this cruel trade.
“We won’t roll over until the illegal trafficking in cats and dogs is stopped for good.”