‘Smuggled’ dogs seized by DEFRA office
TWO FRENCH Bulldogs that were bought online from a dog breeder were seized by DEFRA officials on Tuesday this week on suspicion of having been smuggled into the UK to avoid quarantine.
The two animals – a dog and a bitch – were purchased a few weeks ago for £7,000 by Miss T (name withheld on request), from Colwyn, North Wales, apparently in order for her to breed from them. The dogs were advertised on the Epupz dog selling website from a breeder operating in Swansea.
Miss T received a Kennel Club registration document for one dog and was promised documentation for the other dog, but this has not been forthcoming. Both dogs were in poor condition when she took delivery of them, suffering from severe diarrhoea and worms, whilst the bitch had two groin hernias. Both received veterinary treatment and recovered, although the breeder showed no interest in the matter and failed to respond to Miss T’s messages.
Miss T subsequently found out that several other people had experienced similar health problems with dogs purchased from the same breeder. A suggestion was put to Miss T that the dogs may have not been bred by the breeder at all, but had, in fact, been smuggled into the UK from Eastern Europe. Both were certainly found to have microchips manufactured in Belarus. Miss T informed Trading Standards of her concerns, which in turn led to DEFRA being informed.
However, events took a distinctly worrying turn last Friday when DEFRA officials told Miss T that they would be seizing the dogs for possibly being illegally imported without quarantine. Despite Ms T's protests, officers from DEFRA and Trading Standards called at her house on Tuesday of this week with a police officer to observe that events proceeded peacefully and both dogs were seized and taken to DEFRA approved quarantine kennels.
Miss T contacted OUR DOGS and Chief Reporter Nick Mays assisted her as far as was possible, ensuring that DEFRA and Trading Standards kept her informed of events and helping her to secure proper legal representation.
Local DEFRA official Peter Bolton who is involved in the case confirmed that the dogs had been seized and that an investigation into all aspects o the case was under way. This would presumably include contact with the breeder to ascertain the dogs’ origins.
The breeder is alleged to be listed as a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder, although this has not yet been confirmed.