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Puppy Trafficking (1)

Question by Steve O'Connell

How many cases of trafficked puppies have been reported to the Met for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016?  Please specify how many each year. Please specify from which country the animals originated. Have there been any prosecutions arising out of these cases?

Answer by Sadiq Khan

Offences relating to the trafficking of puppies are split into two broad categories:

1.    Landing of an animal in contravention of the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974 or Animal Health Act 1981

2.    Breaching the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006

Neither are the primary responsibility of Police and are enforced by the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA), Border Force and/or Local Authorities.

The Local Authority aspect of enforcement for London is usually delegated to Animal Health Officers at the Corporation of London's Animal Reception Centre based near Heathrow Airport.

Police Officers from the Met (Status Dog Unit) have been deployed in support of operations targeting illegal puppy smuggling in London, Dover and Coquelles (France) to support the above agencies. However, as the role of the Met is to support rather than be the primary enforcer, they do not hold data relating to the number of operations/initiatives deployed to or their outcomes.

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