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Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Trading Standards warning after second illegally imported puppy is quarantined

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Buying or rehoming a cute puppy may seem a good idea and a welcome addition to a family, but our Trading Standards team is warning residents to be aware of illegal imports.


Last week, officers had to quarantine an illegally imported puppy because it had not received a rabies vaccination before coming to the UK. The second time in four months they have had to take such action.

The puppy came from a country where rabies is a high risk of being present and therefore officers could not rule out the puppy being a carrier. The new owners are liable for the unexpected additional costs to cover the quarantine fees.

Illegally imported puppies may not be properly vaccinated and rabies-free. Puppies like this are regularly sold via online advert listings or social media platforms and may come accompanied with incomplete or false documentation which leads any buyers into believing they have been imported correctly or bred within the UK.

Trading Standards is urging anyone thinking of buying or re-homing a puppy to consider the government's advice about buying a cat or dog before making any decision to buy.

In addition, prospective buyers should also:

  • be cautious when looking to buy an imported dog; it's difficult for a buyer to know if the rabies vaccination information contained within the pet P=passport has been forged
  • view the puppy where it was bred and with its mother
  • never agree to have the puppy delivered to your home address or meet the seller in a car park for collection
  • ask to see all the documentation; this must clearly state the veterinary practice where the puppy injections were given

Our Executive Member for Community Services, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, said:

The UK has been a rabies-free country for over a hundred years and every effort should be made to keep it that way. Unfortunately, puppies or other pets smuggled into the country may not have received an effective vaccination.

Rabies is a fatal disease that can affect all mammals, including humans, cats, dogs, livestock and wildlife. It is important to quarantine any animal which hasn’t been vaccinated to monitor whether rabies is present or not and also prevent the risk of it spreading.

We would urge anyone who is looking to buy a puppy to follow the advice above to ensure you and your puppy get off to the very best start.