Plans for a new Law to Protect Puppies from puppy smugglers from importing poorly and ill dogs were backed in Parliament on Friday 15 March.

Under the Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill, people selling pets would be banned from importing puppies under six months old, with heavily pregnant dogs not being allowed to travel, while ‘mutilated’ animals, such as puppies with cropped ears, would also be stopped. It will also cover the importation of cats and ferrets into the country.

The Bill, which was brought forward in a Private Members Bill by North Devon MP Selaine Saxby, is backed by the Conservative Government and cleared Second Reading without being put to a vote.

Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, said they were backing Ms Saxby’s bill, saying: “People across Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington and Hill Head love their pets and the special place they hold as part of the family.

“This Bill will end the pain loving families feel when their beloved pet is found to be ill or in pain due to the way it was raised and brought into the country.

“By ensuring pets can only be brought into this country in the proper and correct ways, this Bill will help bring the horrible puppy smuggling trade to an end.

“It joins a raft of measures brought in by this Government that I am proud to say means this country has the strongest animal welfare protections in the world.”

Selaine Saxby MP, who says a huge surge in puppy smuggling started during the Covid pandemic as owners struggled to find the puppies they wanted, commented before the Second Reading: “I am glad the Government is supporting this vital Bill and committed to its swift passage to safeguard the welfare of thousands of puppies, dogs, cats and ferrets that come into Great Britain from overseas each year,” she said.

“I would like to thank the tireless campaigning from pet charities who have shared their views about this Bill.

“I hope they are reassured by the measures outlined in the Bill which will stop this cruel trade by closing loopholes exploited by unscrupulous commercial traders.

“We really are a nation of pet lovers, and this legislation will ensure the UK is leading the world when it comes to animal welfare.”

Coverage of the debate can be found at